A user-driven treadmill control scheme for simulating overground locomotion

Jonghyun Kim, Christopher J Stanley, Lindsey A Curatalo, Hyung-Soon Park
Conference Proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2012, 2012: 3061-4
Treadmill-based locomotor training should simulate overground walking as closely as possible for optimal skill transfer. The constant speed of a standard treadmill encourages automaticity rather than engagement and fails to simulate the variable speeds encountered during real-world walking. To address this limitation, this paper proposes a user-driven treadmill velocity control scheme that allows the user to experience natural fluctuations in walking velocity with minimal unwanted inertial force due to acceleration/deceleration of the treadmill belt. A smart estimation limiter in the scheme effectively attenuates the inertial force during velocity changes. The proposed scheme requires measurement of pelvic and swing foot motions, and is developed for a treadmill of typical belt length (1.5 m). The proposed scheme is quantitatively evaluated here with four healthy subjects by comparing it with the most advanced control scheme identified in the literature.

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