Controller design of a robotic orthosis using sinusoidal-input describing function model

Chin, Kar Mun (2022) Controller design of a robotic orthosis using sinusoidal-input describing function model. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Stroke is one of top leading causes of death in the world and it happens to more than 15 million people yearly. According to the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM), stroke is the third leading cause of death in Malaysia with around 40,000 cases reported annually. Forty percent of stroke survivors suffer from movement impairments after stroke. My grandfather was one of the victims and he was unable to attend any rehabilitation sessions due to several reasons. Hence, he lost the golden time to regain his movement and freedom. There are a lot of similar cases that happen daily in Malaysia. Besides, as the number of stroke patients increases yearly, the need for physiotherapists or rehabilitation machines equally increases. Hence, a low-cost clinical rehabilitation device is essential to provide assistance for an effective rehabilitation program and substitute the conventional method, as well as to reduce the burden of physiotherapists. In future, the proposed rehabilitation device would benefit not only stroke patients, but any patients who lost their normal walking ability including post-accident patients or those who suffer from spinal cord injury. The rehabilitation device aims to provide training assistance to patients not only in rehabilitation centres but also at home for daily training.

The robotic orthosis is planned to be configured based on moving joint angles of human lower extremities. In the first stage of this research, angle-time characteristics for knee and hip swinging motion are utilised as a sagittal motion reference for the rehabilitation devices. The aim of following a proper gait cycle during rehabilitation training is to train patients to perform standing and swinging phases at proper timing and simultaneously provide the correct position reference to the patient during rehabilitation training. This can prevent patients from walking abnormally with an asymmetric gait cycle along or after the rehabilitation program. Besides, various limitations and the bulky structure of other rehabilitation devices lead to the design of the two-link lower limb rehabilitation device.

This project aims to develop an assistive robotic rehabilitation device that generates a human gait trajectory for hemiplegic stroke patient gait rehabilitation in future. The shortcomings of other control applications due to environmental conditions and disturbances lead to the implementation of the describing function approach in the development of the devices. A sinusoidal-input describing function (SIDF) approach was implemented to linearize the nonlinear robotic orthosis with linear transfer function. The reason for utilising the SIDF approach is due to the nonlinear actual plant model with the present of load torque disturbances, discontinuous nonlinearities such as saturation and backlash, and also multivariable in the system. The nonlinear properties of the plant were proven in the preliminary stage of the research. A conventional controller, PID control combined with position and trajectory inputs were also applied to the system in the early stage of research. However, the experimental results were not satisfying. Finally, the SIDF approach was chosen to linearize the nonlinear system. Hence, generating a controller is much easier with a linear model of the nonlinear system.

A SIDF approach was implemented to generate a controller for the multivariable, nonlinear closed loop system. Firstly, the SIDF approach enables the determination of the linear function of the nonlinear model known as the SIDF model. By utilising the linear model to mimic the behaviour of the nonlinear rehabilitation system, the controller for the nonlinear plant was able to be generated. In this research a controller based on linear control theory technique was used. The MATLAB library was used to design the lead-lag controller for the rehabilitation device.

Various simulations such as step responses, tracking and decoupling of both links were performed on the generated controller with the nonlinear model to study the capability of the controller. Besides that, real life experiment testing was carried out to validate the feasibility of the controller designed via the SIDF approach. Simulation and experimental results were obtained, compared, and discussed. The highly accurate responses gained from experimental setup showed the robustness of the controller generated via SIDF approach. The implementation of the SIDF approach in a rehabilitation device (vertical two-link manipulator) is a first and hence, fulfils a novelty requirement for this research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Ho, Jee Hou
Teh, Sze Hong
Ng, Hoon Kiat
Keywords: robotic orthosis, rehabilitation devices, human gait cycle
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 66021
Depositing User: CHIN, Kar Mun
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2024 09:22

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