Effect of added inertia on the pelvis on gait
Gait-training robots must display a low inertia in order to allow normal-looking walking. We studied the effect of inertia added to the pelvis during walking. We attached subjects to a mechanism that displays inertia to the pelvis in the anterior/posterior (AP) direction and the lateral direction independently. During walking we measured EMG, metabolic rate and kinematics of nine subjects. We found that inertias up to 5.3 kg added in lateral direction had no significant effect on gait. We found that 4.3 kg added in the AP direction had a significant but not relevant effect on the range of motion (RoM) of pelvis AP displacement and acceleration, and on hip flexion. 10.3 kg caused a significant and relevant difference in pelvis acceleration RoM. 6 kg is estimated as the maximum inertia that gait-training robots can add to the pelvis, without affecting the gait.
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