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Design and kinematic analysis of redundantly actuated parallel mechanisms for ankle rehabilitation

  • Congzhe Wang (a1), Yuefa Fang (a1), Sheng Guo (a1) and Changchun Zhou (a1)

In this paper, we present the design of two serial spherical mechanisms to substitute for a single spherical joint that is usually used to connect the platform with the base in three degrees of freedom parallel mechanisms. According to the principle derived from the conceptual design, through using the two serial spherical mechanisms as the constraint limb, several redundantly actuated parallel mechanisms are proposed for ankle rehabilitation. The proposed parallel mechanisms all can perform the rotational movements of the ankle in three directions while at the same time the mechanism center of rotations can match the ankle axes of rotations compared with other multi-degree-of-freedom devices, due to the structural characteristics of the special constraint limb and platform. Two special parallel mechanisms are selected to analyze their kinematical performances, such as workspace, dexterity, singularity, and stiffness, based on the computed Jacobian. The results show that the proposed scheme of actuator redundancy can guarantee that the redundantly actuated parallel mechanisms have no singularity, better dexterity, and stiffness within the prescribed workspace in comparison with the corresponding non-redundant parallel mechanisms. In addition, the proposed mechanisms possess certain reconfigurable capacity based on control strategies or rehabilitation modes to obtain sound performance for completing ankle rehabilitation exercise.

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