|Title||Simulation of Energy Regeneration in Human Locomotion for Efficient Exoskeleton Actuation|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Laschowski, B., K. A. Inkol, A. Mihailidis, and J. McPhee|
|Conference Name||IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob)|
|Keywords||Actuators, Biomechatronics, Energy-Efficiency, Exoskeletons|
Backdriveable actuators with energy regeneration can improve the efficiency and extend the battery-powered operating times of robotic lower-limb exoskeletons by converting some of the otherwise dissipated energy during negative mechanical work into electrical energy. However, previous related studies have focused on steady-state level-ground walking. To better encompass real-world community mobility, here we developed a feedforward human-exoskeleton energy regeneration system model to simulate energy regeneration and storage during other daily locomotor activities. Data from inverse dynamics analyses of 10 healthy young adults walking at variable speeds and slopes were used to calculate the negative joint mechanical power and work (i.e., the mechanical energy theoretically available for electrical energy regeneration). These human joint mechanical energetics were then used to simulate backdriving a robotic exoskeleton and regenerating energy. An empirical characterization of the exoskeleton device was carried out using a joint dynamometer system and an electromechanical motor model to calculate the actuator efficiency and to simulate energy regeneration. Our performance calculations showed that regenerating energy at slower walking speeds and decline slopes could significantly extend the battery-powered operating times of robotic lower-limb exoskeletons (i.e., up to 99% increase in total number of steps), therein improving locomotor efficiency.
Simulation of Energy Regeneration in Human Locomotion for Efficient Exoskeleton Actuation