Unilateral exoskeleton for post-stroke gait rehabilitation and assessment

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Mechanical Engineering


The project aim is to develop a proof of concept unilateral exoskeleton for post-stroke gait rehabilitation and assessment, capable of:
- Tracking reference trajectories and collecting rehabilitation assessment criteria from patient healthy side during exemplar leg swing exercises
- Achieving human-exoskeleton balance during healthy leg swing
- Delivering 'assistance-as-needed' during affected leg swing exercises
- Comparing affected side performance against healthy side for evaluating clinical outcomes
Novel engineering methods carried out during the course of this project will include:
- A state estimation approach for recording reference trajectories using inertial data during example rehabilitation exercises
- Proposing and testing metrics for stroke rehabilitation assessment - comparing healthy and affected sides using data from fused inertial and muscle activity data
- Creating model predictive controllers for exoskeleton balance during healthy side leg swing and assistance during affected side leg swing, simulating their implementation, then testing performance on hardware
Control objectives include robustness with respect to modelling uncertainties, trajectory following, overall torque minimisation, external disturbance rejection for stance controller, and, for assistance scenario, external disturbance acceptance for dictating exercise difficulty and delivering 'assistance-as-needed'.
This research aims to answer the question of unilateral exoskeleton feasibility for post-stroke rehabilitation - identified as a promising means of achieving independent rehabilitation outside of clinical environments.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
2059504 Studentship EP/N509486/1 03/10/2016 31/03/2021 Christopher Caulcrick
Description This is Engineering Campaign Protagonist 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Protagonist in the Royal Academy of Engineering's This is Engineering campaign - changing young people's perceptions of the engineering profession.
This has included starring in multiple online videos and an online image library. The role is ongoing and involves frequent outreach activities and online engagements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL https://www.thisisengineering.org.uk/meet-the-engineers/chris/