Design Innovation Paper

A new stance control knee orthosis using a self-locking mechanism based on a planetary gear train

[+] Author and Article Information
G. R. Jimenez

Department of Mechanical, Energy and Materials Engineering. University of Extremadura; Calle Federico García Lorca 8 4D 06400 Don Benito (Badajoz) Spain

D.R. Salgado

Department of Mechanical, Energy and Materials Engineering. University of Extremadura

F.J. Alonso

Department of Mechanical, Energy and Materials Engineering. University of Extremadura

Prof. Jose M. del Castillo

Department of Material Science and Transportation Engineering. University of Seville

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041780 History: Received January 14, 2018; Revised October 09, 2018


The objective of this work was to design and build a fully mechanical knee orthosis. A knee orthosis should both allow control of the angle of flexion of the knee during the stance phase of the gait cycle and leave the joint free during the swing phase. Knee orthoses are normally used to assist the walking of people suffering from muscle weaknesses or gait pathologies in order to avoid excessive knee flexion during the stance phase. The design of the orthosis proposed in the present work is characterized by allowing the knee to be locked at any angle of flexion during the stance phase, and because the orthosis can be unblocked to allow the joint to be released in the swing phase without the action of any external agent, i.e., without requiring external electrical or electronic systems for the control and performance of the orthosis. These characteristics mean that the design can be adapted to the gait of any user. The proposed design consists of a set of three rods, one attached to the user's thigh, another to the calf, and the other to the foot, connected to each other by a self-locking planetary gear train.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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