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Title: Augmenting elderly mobility with lower limb assistive exoskeleton
Author: Al Rezage, Ghasaq
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 2670
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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Mobility is considered as one of the most essential acts of human being to stay independent and have good quality of life. Therefore, people who are faced with mobility impairment because of muscle weakness, illness, or injury, suffer from many health problems or become bedridden. Recently, exoskeletons have emerged as a promising solution to augment the elderly people's lost physical strength though performing essential mobility functions. According to the technology advancement, the hardware size of most exoskeletons has reduced in order to keep the system portable with suitable sensors, actuators, and power supplies, and use of light and resistant material. The current main challenge with robotic technology, is developing a device that has most of the required characteristics such as being safe, power sufficient, seamless, and affordable. Despite availability of many commercial devices for purchasing or renting, all these requirements are not adhered to and the cost is not affordable for all the people. The high costs are due to the advance of hardware, software, and costly material used in designing the prototypes. Developing sufficient controllers that are integrated with the user without adding weight or increasing energy consumption is one of the proposed solutions. Furthermore, software platform used plays significant role in evaluating the design and control techniques, and can save the cost and resources before building the prototype. This research is focusing on development of modelling and design of control strategies for a multipurpose lower limb exoskeleton to assist the elderly people to move independently in the environment. The main aim of this research is aiding people who have physical weakness in their lower limbs. A humanoid and exoskeleton models are developed within Visual Nastran 4D and Sim-Wise virtual environments, to validate the controllers proposed in this research. Various control methodologies are investigated in this research to drive the simulated humanoid and exoskeleton lower limb models. These include Proportional Integral Drivative (PID), PD fuzzy logic control (FLC) and fuzzy tuning PID. Moreover , two optimization algorithms , namely spiral dynamics and invasive weeds are used to improve the performance of the proposed controllers and an overall comparative performance assessment of the proposed strategies is carried out and relevant recommendations are given.
Supervisor: Tokhi, Osman Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available