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Active Motor Control for an Upper Extremity Exoskeleton

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An active control system for a five degree of freedom (5-DOF) upper limb robotic exoskeleton was developed to fill in the need for an accessible and cost-effective rehabilitation system. Since physical therapy sessions are labor intensive, it aims to be a tool in augmenting the capacity of local rehabilitation centers in catering more patients. Many different control systems were already done on similar devices but the challenges remain in adapting to the limits of the mechanical design of the exoskeleton it is implemented on and availability of local electronic components. Arduino Microcontroller was used as the embedded platform in the implementation of the control system. Using Myoware electromyography (EMG) sensor, signals were measure from biceps and triceps for elbow flexion and extension; deltoids and teres major for shoulder abduction and adduction. The rectified signal was further smoothened thru running average. Experimental results showed that baseline EMG and activation level of the target muscle groups were different from each other, thus different threshold levels were established. An adaptive algorithm using pulse width modulation (PWM) was also implemented in varying the supplied power depending on the applied load on the arm. Stall conditions via the current sensor was monitored and used as positive feedback. The system was successful in interpreting intent to move and translating it to motor movement.
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Keywords: Biofeedback; Electromyography Control; Powered Exoskeleton; Rehabilitation Robotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Electronics and Communications Engineering Department, Gokongwei College of Engineering, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 0922 Manila, Philippines 2: Manufacturing Engineering and Management Department, Gokongwei College of Engineering, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 0922 Manila, Philippines 3: Physics Department, College of Science, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 0922 Manila, Philippines

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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