This paper is focused on the design of interaction control of robotic machines for rehabilitative motor therapy of the upper limb. The control approach tries to address requirements deriving from the application field and adopts a bioinspired approach for regulating robot behavior in the interaction with the patient. An inner-outer loop control scheme is proposed. In order to tune the level of force and improve robot adaptability in the interaction with the patient, a classical outer force control loop is used. For the inner loop, a novel control law for low-level tuning of robot compliance is introduced, that is borrowed from studies on the biological mechanisms for regulating the elastic properties of the human arm. A dedicated simulation tool, which models the dynamics of an operational robotic machine interacting with a human subject, has been developed. Validation of basic adaptability and safety requirements of the control scheme is carried out in simple tasks, e.g., reaching and contact/noncontact transitions, as well as in simulated situations of typical motor exercises. In particular, the simulation tests demonstrate the adaptive capabilities of the proposed control schemes, e.g., in counterbalancing patient incorrect movements related to the various levels of disability. Moreover, preliminar experimental tests carried out on a real robotic system demonstrated the possibility of using the proposed approach for guaranteeing safe interaction with the patient.
Torque-Dependent Compliance Control in the Joint Space for Robot-Mediated Motor Therapy
Formica, D., Zollo, L., and Guglielmelli, E. (November 14, 2005). "Torque-Dependent Compliance Control in the Joint Space for Robot-Mediated Motor Therapy." ASME. J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. March 2006; 128(1): 152–158. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2173009
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