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Muscular Activity and Physical Interaction Forces during Lower Limb Exoskeleton Use

Wilcox, M; Rathore, A; Morgado Ramirez, DZ; Loureiro, R; Carlson, T; (2016) Muscular Activity and Physical Interaction Forces during Lower Limb Exoskeleton Use. Healthcare Technology Letters , 3 (4) pp. 273-279. 10.1049/htl.2016.0063. Green open access

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Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) typically manifests with a loss of sensorimotor control of the lower limbs. In order to overcome som e of the disadvantages of chronic wheelchair use by such patients, robotic exoskeletons are an emerging technology that has the pot ential to transform the lives of patients. However, there are a number of points of contact between the robot and the user, which lead to interaction forces. In a recent study, we have shown that peak interaction forces are particularly prominent at the an terior aspect of the right leg. This study uses a similar experimental protocol with additional EMG (electromyography) analysis to examine whether such interaction forces are due to t he muscular activity of the participant or the movement of the exoskeleto n itself. Interestingly, we found that that peak forces preceded peak EMG activity. This study did not find a significant correlation between EMG activity and force data, which would indicate that the interaction f orces can largely be attributed to the mov ement of the exoskeleton itself. However, we also report significantly higher correlation coefficients in muscle/force pairs located at the anterior aspect of the right leg. In our previous research, we have shown peak interaction forces at the same locati ons, which suggests that muscular activity of the participant makes a more significant contribution to the interaction forces at these locations. The findings of this study are of significance for incomplete SCI patients, for whom EMG activity may provide an important input to an intuitive control schema.

Type: Article
Title: Muscular Activity and Physical Interaction Forces during Lower Limb Exoskeleton Use
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1049/htl.2016.0063
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/htl.2016.0063
Language: English
Additional information: This paper is a preprint of a paper submitted to Healthcare Technology Letters and is subject to Institution of Engineering and Technology Copyright. If accepted, the copy of record will be available at IET Digital Library: http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/htl.2016.0063
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522038
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