Ankle rehabilitation robots can play an important role in improving outcomes of the rehabilitation treatment by assisting therapists and patients in number of ways. Consequently, few robot designs have been proposed by researchers which fall under either of the two categories, namely, wearable robots or platform-based robots. This paper presents a review of both kinds of ankle robots along with a brief analysis of their design, actuation and control approaches. While reviewing these designs it was observed that most of them are undesirably inspired by industrial robot designs. Taking note of the design concerns of current ankle robots, few improvements in the ankle robot designs have also been suggested. Conventional position control or force control approaches, being used in the existing ankle robots, have been reviewed. Apparently, opportunities of improvement also exist in the actuation as well as control of ankle robots. Subsequently, a discussion on most recent research in the development of novel actuators and advanced controllers based on appropriate physical and cognitive human-robot interaction has also been included in this review. Implications for Rehabilitation Ankle joint functions are restricted/impaired as a consequence of stroke or injury during sports or otherwise. Robots can help in reinstating functions faster and can also work as tool for recording rehabilitation data useful for further analysis. Evolution of ankle robots with respect to their design and control aspects has been discussed in the present paper and a novel design with futuristic control approach has been proposed.
|Number of pages
|Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
|Published - 1 Mar 2015