Journal Papers
"Development of FSR-Crutch Module for Real-Time Evaluation of Walking Performance in the Rehabilitative Applications"
Year of publication
K. Park, D. Lee, and K. Kong
Journal of Institute of Control, Robotics and Systems


In recent years, a myriad of rehabilitative robots, such as powered exoskeletons for people with paraplegia or cerebral palsy, have been introduced. Such rehabilitative technologies are essential for enhancing quality of life for people with disabilities by giving them back the most basic but most crucial motion of our daily lives: walking. Along with the advancement of assistive methods and mechanical systems, there has been much effort in developing devices to quantitatively evaluate walking performance, i.e. effective walking assistance without user discomfort. However, there still exist some obstacles to directly applying assistive devices to daily usage. In order for their application to be practical, the devices must not hinder the walking motion itself or induce annoyance of the user, but must have high durability and repeatability, as well as provide sufficient information about the user’s body. In this paper, a simple, practical, and easy-to-implement force sensing module utilizing FSR sensors with a crutch is proposed. The FSR sensors are attached to specific locations in consideration of the human’s physical characteristics. By using data from the module, the status of the assisted user can be detected in real time. In addition, objective criteria are proposed in order to quantify and assess the performance of the assistive method. Verification of the criteria was performed in human walking experiments. 

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