The hydraulic human power amplifier (HPA) is a tool similar to exoskeleton that uses hydraulic actuation to amplify the applied human force. The control objective is to make the system behave like a passive mechanical tool that interacts with the human and the environment passively with a specified power scaling factor. In our previous work, a virtual velocity coordination approach recasts the single degree-of-freedom human power amplifier control problem into a velocity coordination with a fictitious reference mechanical system. Force amplification becomes a natural consequence of the velocity coordination. In this paper, this control approach is extended for fully coupled multi-DoF systems. A passivity based control approach that uses the natural energy storage of the hydraulic actuator to take full account of the nonlinear pressure dynamics is used to define the flow requirement. Additional passive assistance dynamics are designed and implemented to enable the user to perform specific tasks more easily. Guidance is achieved using a passive velocity field controller (PVFC), and obstacle avoidance is achieved using a potential field. Experimental results demonstrate good performance on a 2-DoF Human Power Amplifier.

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