Characterization of EMG Sensors and Fluidic Muscles for Developing a Bioleg Knee Brace

Haadi Elahi, Marvin Pablo, Sohail Zaidi, Vimal Viswanathan, Mechanical Engineering Department, San Jose State University, 1 Washington Square, CA 95192 Indeever Madireddy, Aayush Vemuri, IntelliScience Training Institute, 2139 S 10th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

A fluidic-muscle-based robotic knee brace was developed/tested at SJSU and the research work was widely published [IMECE 2019/IMECE 2020/NCUR 2020]. The brace was designed to facilitate rehabilitation for impaired stroke patients who need assistance to perform recovery exercises. The initial knee brace design incorporated Festo’s industrial-grade flexible fluidic muscles along with rotary sensors that measured the angular displacement of the leg. Additionally, an Arduino-based operating system was designed that triggered the brace operation by inflating the fluidic muscle to the desired pressure. Currently, Electromyography sensors (EMG) are being investigated for the signals they generate when mounted on leg muscles. The knee-brace is mounted on a mannequin leg whereas the EMG sensors are attached to the muscles of a healthy person. The muscles of the healthy individual generate electrical trigger signals that initiate the operation of the actuators in the system via the microcontroller. Investigations are underway to characterize EMG sensors to monitor the time response of the system along with its angular displacement as a function of muscle flexion. The current knee brace is fully operational, but design limitations do not allow it to achieve greater than about 40 degrees of angular displacement. The current work also includes the analysis of the shortcomings of the current device and looks at new efforts to make design changes in the current system. In this new effort, the fluidic muscle is being designed using latex tubing surrounded by expandable sleeving. As the muscle inflates, the latex tubing expands and the wire sleeving restricts this expansion so that the muscle contracts. Manufacturing custom based fluidic muscle allows more control over the geometry of the muscles on the leg brace. Multiple muscles with different lengths have been manufactured and are under investigation for their stability and performance.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Haadi Elahi, Indeever Madireddy, Aayush Vemuri, Marvin Pablo, Vimal Viswanathan, Sohail Zaidi

Institution: San Jose State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4603