Development of body weight support treadmill training system using pneumatic mckibben actuator

Yoshiyuki Shibata, Tasuku Miyoshi, Shinichiro Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous studies suggest that body weight support treadmill training is effective to improve walking ability for incomplete spinal cord injuries. However, the moving of a patient's legs during the treadmill training represents ergonomically unfavorable and tiring work for therapists. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop a body weight support treadmill training system. This system consists of three parts, powered orthosis, equipment of body weight support and treadmill. The part of powered orthosis is based on Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot orthosis with trunk support and is driven by pneumatic Mckibben actuator. Pneumatic Mckibben actuator is safe to use, obtains high power and contributes to lose weight of the orthosis. In this study, we try to developa feedback control system which referred difference between inner pressures of actuators set upan antagonistic arrangement and joint angle of the orthosis. This control method is able to increase stiffness of hip and knee joints of the orthosis and achieves large torque for the orthosis walking. Additionally, co-contraction of pneumatic Mckibben actuators which set up an antagonistic arrangement as bi-articular muscle is able to increase stiffness of both hipand knee joints of the orthosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec 1


  • Bi-articular muscle
  • Gait training
  • Mckibben actuator
  • Powered orthosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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