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Innovation in augmenting hip and ankle performance during walking

Liebelt, Leah Katherine (2021) Innovation in augmenting hip and ankle performance during walking. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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This thesis considers two topics: hip assistance using a powered exoskeleton, and ankle assistance using a passive ankle-foot orthosis during walking. Part A introduces a lightweight bilateral hip exoskeleton used for improving gait function. Part B introduces an adjustable ankle foot orthosis to assist with ankle correction.Exoskeletons are wearable robotic devices that can assist with a variety of tasks, such as load carrying, walking, or rehabilitation. In Part A, I introduce an ultra-lightweight hip exoskeleton aimed at assisting individuals with Cerebral Palsy and other gait impairments during rehabilitation or gait training exercises. This thesis presents the mechanical design and validation of the exoskeleton. The final mechanical design of the hip exoskeleton was derived through several prototypes, and verified for specific engineering requirements: weight, torque application, range of motion, and user comfort. A summary of the hip exoskeleton control system is briefly discussed. Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are devices commonly utilized for gait correction. AFOs are boot-like structures that encase the foot and lower leg to provide extra support and stability to the user during everyday tasks. Current market AFOs are extremely rigid, making walking difficult for individuals due to reduced ankle movement. Part B of this thesis introduces an adjustable AFO to help individuals increase their ankle motion while also aiding ankle power during stance and swing phases of the gait cycle. The final design of the AFO was derived through a single prototype, and validated for specific engineering requirements: weight, spring stiffness, modification ability, range of motion, and comfort.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: ankle-foot orthosis; hip exoskeleton; Medical engineering; Medical devices;
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
MeSH Subjects: J Technology,Industry,Agriculture > J01 Technology, Industry, and Agriculture
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 17:58
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 08:30
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5787

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