Linkage-based Orthoses Designed for Individualized Motion Requirements
- Author(s): Ghosh, Shramana
- Advisor(s): McCarthy, John M
- et al.
This dissertation presents and demonstrates a new design procedure for customized wearable devices that provide joint guidance, support, and increased mobility for individuals with hand or lower-leg impairments. This new procedure uses motion capture data to guide kinematic synthesis of closed-loop linkages that match the specific movement of an individual and is demonstrated in the design and evaluation of a mechanical thumb, a hands-free crutch and a knee-ankle-foot orthosis.
The mechanical thumb was designed using motion capture data of a thumb curling task. A geometric model of the resulting four-bar linkage moved smoothly between the task positions and matched the desired thumb tip physiological movement. Then, a hands-free crutch was designed with a four-bar linkage synthesized to match motion capture data defining the movement of an individual's knee joint during walking. Tests of a prototype demonstrated reduced hip-hiking and increased stride length compared to a fixed-knee hands-free crutch.
A six-bar knee-ankle-foot orthosis was designed to match both the angular movements at the knee and ankle joints and the metatarsal trajectory obtained from motion capture data of a natural walking gait in the sagittal plane. Tests of a prototype showed normal knee
function and stride lengths during walking. Optimization was combined with the kinematic synthesis procedure to match the metatarsal trajectory.
The result is a new design procedure to obtain simple and robust wearable devices for application as hand, knee, and knee-ankle-foot orthoses that match natural human movement kinematics.