Terrain feature estimation method for a lower limb exoskeleton using kinematic analysis and center of pressure

Myounghoon Shim, Jong In Han, Ho Seon Choi, Seong Min Ha, Jung Hoon Kim, Yoon Su Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


While controlling a lower limb exoskeleton providing walking assistance to wearers, the walking terrain is an important factor that should be considered for meeting performance and safety requirements. Therefore, we developed a method to estimate the slope and elevation using the contact points between the limb exoskeleton and ground. We used the center of pressure as a contact point on the ground and calculated the location of the contact points on the walking terrain based on kinematic analysis of the exoskeleton. Then, a set of contact points collected from each step during walking was modeled as the plane that represents the surface of the walking terrain through the least-square method. Finally, by comparing the normal vectors of the modeled planes for each step, features of the walking terrain were estimated. We analyzed the estimation accuracy of the proposed method through experiments on level ground, stairs, and a ramp. Classification using the estimated features showed recognition accuracy higher than 95% for all experimental motions. The proposed method approximately analyzed the movement of the exoskeleton on various terrains even though no prior information on the walking terrain was provided. The method can enable exoskeleton systems to actively assist walking in various environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4418
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) (No. NRF-2013R1A2A2A01069067 and NO. NRF-2017M1A3A3A02016507).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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