Lower-limb exoskeletons are wearable robotic systems with a kinematic structure closely matching that of the human leg. In part, this technology can be used to provide clinical assessment and improved independent-walking competency for people living with the effects of stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and sarcopenia. Individually, these demographics represent approximately: 405 thousand, 100 thousand, 67.5 thousand, 100 thousand, and 5.9 million Canadians, respectively. Key shortcomings in the current state-of-the-art are: restriction on several of the human leg’s primary joint movements, coaxial joint alignments at the exoskeleton-human interface, and exclusion of well-suited parallel manipulator components. A novel exoskeleton design is thus formulated to address these issues while maintaining large ranges of joint motion. Ultimately, a single-leg unactuated prototype is constructed for seven degree-of-freedom joint angle measurements; it achieves an extent of motion-capture accuracy comparable to a commercial inertial-based system during three levels of human mobility testing.
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