This paper introduces a novel assistive device (AD) control strategy that provides intermittent assistance and is capable of encouraging user effort during AD use. The assistance regulation controller (ARC) presented here is designed to regulate joint torque and can be used for arbitrary joint and limb motions without requiring any a priori information about the user's intended motion. Data from eight healthy subjects who performed a forearm tracking experiment using a single degree-of-freedom powered orthosis demonstrate that the ARC is capable of encouraging user effort. On average, subjects generated 40% more joint torque when performing the tracking experiment with the ARC instead of a conventional torque-amplifying controller. The results also demonstrate that the ARC is safe to use for dynamic orthosis-assisted joint motions which require several transitions into and out of the assistance and no assistance states of the controller. As such, the results also confirm that the ARC is an effective assist-as-needed control strategy suitable for use with ADs.

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Conference 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2011
Morbi, A. (Aliasgar), Ahmadi, M, Chan, A, & Langlois, R.G. (2011). Comparing continuous and intermittent assistance controllers for assistive devices. In Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (pp. 4651–4656). doi:10.1109/ICRA.2011.5979603