Admittance Control Scheme Comparison of EXO-UL8: A Dual-Arm Exoskeleton Robotic System
In physical rehabilitation, exoskeleton assistive devices aim to restore lost motor functions of a patient suffering from neuromuscular or musculoskeletal disorders. These assistive devices are classified as operating in one of two modes: (1) passive mode, in which the exoskeleton passively moves its joints through the full range (or a subset) of the patient's motion during engagement, or (2) assist-as-needed (AAN) mode, in which the exoskeleton provides assistance to the joints of the patient, either by initiating the movements or assisting the patient's movements to complete the task at hand. Achieving high physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) transparency is an open problem for multiple degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) redundant exoskeletons. Using the EXO-UL8 exoskeleton, this study compares two multi-joint admittance control schemes (hyper parameter- based, and Kalman Filter-based) with comfort optimization to improve human-exoskeleton transparency. The control schemes were tested by three healthy subjects who completed reaching tasks while assisted by the exoskeleton. Kinematic information in both joint and task space, as well as force- and torque-based power exchange between the human arm and exoskeleton, are collected and analyzed. The results show that the preliminary Kalman Filter-based control scheme matches the performance of the existing hyper parameter-based scheme, highlighting the potential of the Kalman Filter-based approach for additional performance.