Mechanisms for actuated assistive hip orthoses
Mobility is often a central problem for people having muscle weaknesses. The need for new devices to assist walking and walk related activities is therefore growing. Lower limb actuated orthoses have already proven their positive impact with paraplegic patients and are potentially promising for assisting people with weak muscles. However, the transfer from the existing systems of mobilization towards assistance implies several technical challenges as the seamless integration and the reduction of power consumption. In this paper two assistive orthoses which use different types of actuation mechanisms are presented and discussed. The first one is based on a ball screw and an excavator-like mechanism while the second one is based on a double differential actuation. Their technical capabilities are compared and contextualized for diverse activities. Objective characteristics such as the range of motion of the devices, the transparency, the maximal torque that they can provide or the RMS torque during cyclic trajectories are compared to point out which device is better adapted for specific situations.