Biomechanical effects of a robotic knee exoskeleton during slope walking
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The purpose of the study is to explore the biomechanical effects of torque assistance at the knee joint during slope walking using a robotic knee exoskeleton. Powered exoskeleton is a promising wearable robotic technology that holds a large area of potential implementations including human augmentation, mobility assistance, and rehabilitation. One of the major goals in the field of exoskeleton research has been to reduce the human’s energetic consumption by partially replacing the biological muscle work require to perform certain tasks. A majority of these exoskeletons are targeting either the ankle or the hip joint due to their large contribution in providing positive mechanical work. While these joint contributions may overshadow the knee joint in level-ground walking, its role becomes greater in the case of sloped walking. In this thesis, a study in the biomechanical effectiveness of the use of a robotic unilateral knee exoskeleton during sloped walking on healthy adults using a unilateral 1 degree-of freedom knee exoskeleton is presented. The biomechanical effectiveness of the knee exoskeleton is discussed in terms of energetic cost, muscle activation level, kinematics and kinetics of the user.