Abstract

As the population ages, increasingly more individuals experience ankle disabilities caused by stroke and cerebral palsy. Studies on parallel robots for ankle rehabilitation have been conducted under this circumstance. This paper presents a novel parallel ankle rehabilitation robot with the key features of a simple configuration and actuator non-redundancy. The mechanical design is determined, and a prototype is built. Additionally, inverse position solution is addressed to calculate the workspace of the parallel robot. Jacobian matrices, mapping the velocity and force from the active joint space to the task space are derived, and kinetostatic performance indices, namely, motion isotropy, force transfer ratio and force isotropic radius, are defined. Moreover, the inverse dynamic model is presented using the Newton–Euler formulation. Dynamic evaluation index, i.e., dynamic uniformity, is proposed according to the derived Jacobian matrix and inertia matrix. Based on the workspace analysis, the parallel robot demonstrates a sufficient workspace for ankle rehabilitation compared with measured range of motion of human ankle joint complex. The results of the kinetostatic and dynamic performance analysis indicate that the parallel robot possesses good motion isotropy, high force transfer ratio, large force isotropic radius and relatively uniform dynamic dexterity within most of the workspace, especially in the central part. A numerical example is presented to simulate the rehabilitation process and verify the correctness of the inverse dynamic model. The simplicity and the performance of the proposed robot indicate that it has the potential to be widely used for ankle rehabilitation.

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