Cooperative Control Design for Robot-Assisted Balance During Gait

Heike Vallery, Alexander Bögel, Carolyn O´Brien and Robert Riener
  • 1 Convadis AG, Untersiggenthal,, Schweiz
  • 2 VirtaMed AB, Zürich, Schweiz
  • 3 ETH Zürich, Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, Zürich, Schweiz


Avoiding falls is a challenge for many persons in aging societies, and balance dysfunction is a major risk factor. Robotic solutions to assist human gait, however, focus on average kinematics, and less on instantaneous balance reactions. We propose a controller that only intervenes when needed, and that avoids stability issues when interacting with humans: Assistance is triggered only when balance is lost, and this action is purely feed-forward. Experiments show that subjects who start falling during gait can be uprighted by such feed-forward assistive forces.

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AT – Automatisierungstechnik covers the entire field of automation technology. It presents the development of theoretical procedures and their possible applications. Topics include new discoveries about the development and application of methods. It presents the function, properties, and applications of tools and includes contributions from the worlds of research, academia, and industry.