A Robot-Driven Computational Model for Estimating Passive Ankle Torque With Subject-Specific Adaptation.

Research paper by Mingming M Zhang, Wei W Meng, T Claire TC Davies, Yanxin Y Zhang, Sheng Q SQ Xie

Indexed on: 05 Sep '15Published on: 05 Sep '15Published in: IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering


Robot-assisted ankle assessment could potentially be conducted using sensor-based and model-based methods. Existing ankle rehabilitation robots usually use torquemeters and multiaxis load cells for measuring joint dynamics. These measurements are accurate, but the contribution as a result of muscles and ligaments is not taken into account. Some computational ankle models have been developed to evaluate ligament strain and joint torque. These models do not include muscles and, thus, are not suitable for an overall ankle assessment in robot-assisted therapy.This study proposed a computational ankle model for use in robot-assisted therapy with three rotational degrees of freedom, 12 muscles, and seven ligaments. This model is driven by robotics, uses three independent position variables as inputs, and outputs an overall ankle assessment. Subject-specific adaptations by geometric and strength scaling were also made to allow for a universal model.This model was evaluated using published results and experimental data from 11 participants. Results show a high accuracy in the evaluation of ligament neutral length and passive joint torque. The subject-specific adaptation performance is high, with each normalized root-mean-square deviation value less than 10%.This model could be used for ankle assessment, especially in evaluating passive ankle torque, for a specific individual. The characteristic that is unique to this model is the use of three independent position variables that can be measured in real time as inputs, which makes it advantageous over other models when combined with robot-assisted therapy.