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Engineering  |  FURI

James Arnold

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2021
Mechanical engineering

2D Variable Damping Control of the Robotic Ankle Joint to Improve Trade-off between Agility and Stability and Reduce Effort

Mentor:
Research Theme: Health
MORE: Spring 2020

This study introduces a two-dimensional variable damping controller for implementation in wearable robots. The controller applies a range of robotic damping between negative and positive to the coupled human-robot system. A wearable ankle robot was used to test this controller, and human experiments were performed to understand and quantify the effects of the controller. Subjects performed a target reaching exercise while the robot provided constant positive, constant negative, or variable damping. These three damping conditions could then be compared to analyze the performance of the system in terms of stability, agility, and effort.

Other Projects

Variable Damping Control of the Robotic Ankle Joint to Improve Trade-off between Performance and Stability

Mentor:
Research Theme: Health
FURI: Fall 2018

Managing the trade-off between agility and stability has been an important issue throughout the history of physical human-robot interaction. This study focuses on using a wearable ankle robot to quantify variable damping controls that aims to balance the trade-off between agility and stability by emulating a wide range of robotic damping from negative to positive values based on the user’s intent of movement. Integration of knowledge obtained from this line of research will allow for the implementation of a variable damping controller that maximizes performance without compromising stability of any coupled human-robot system.

The Response of the Human Ankle to Variable Negative Damping

Mentor:
Research Theme: Health
FURI: Spring 2018

The development of wearable robots has the potential to drastically improve human lives. This study focuses on using a wearable ankle robot to quantify lower-limb motor control. After creating a video game for human subjects to play, kinematic data and electromyographic (EMG) data was collected from ten healthy subjects. This study continues previous research on how to best assist ankle motion through variable negative damping, which appears to help when motion is both initiated and completed. In the future, the data collected from this study can be used to develop lighter wearable robots for those with lower-limb disabilities.

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