Knee pain, muscle weakness, and their associated medical conditions cause a significant loss of mobility for a large and growing number of people. Accordingly, the need for effective, simple, and noninvasive methods for controlling these problems is becoming more apparent. To that end, we have designed a quasi-passive knee-orthosis that employs a “hybrid joint mechanism” as a central component. This joint combines a four-bar linkage with a compliant mechanism to follow natural knee motion. A poorly fitted knee orthosis can detrimentally affect its effectiveness due to the large variability in the patient-specific knee motion. Our design can be optimized to fit a given user, based on both motion capture data and their particular condition, which leads to several potential advantages over standardized hinges. In this paper, we will explore the design and individualization process of the joint mechanism as well as the background covering various design decisions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.