SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 60, Issue 12: 123201(2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9261-1

Development of electric cart for improving walking ability — application of control theory to assistive technology

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  • ReceivedJun 16, 2017
  • AcceptedOct 23, 2017
  • PublishedNov 9, 2017


This paper explains the development ofan electric cart that helps the elderly maintain or improve their physical strength. Unlike commercially available ones, it has a pedal unit that providessome exercise for a user in training his lower limbs. An impedance model describes the feeling of pushingthe pedals. The largest pedal load is determined based on a pedaling experiment. An $H_{\infty}$ controller isdesigned for each of the largest pedal load and virtually no load. A control law, which is based on the concept ofdynamic parallel distributed compensation, is designed using the rating of perceived exertion of a driveras a criterion to choose a pedal load between the largest and almost zero. Five university students andtwelve elderly people participated experiments to verify the system design and the validity of the system.


This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI (Grant Nos. 18560259, 26350673), and partially by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant No. 16H02883). This work was also supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61473313, 61210011), Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2015CFA010), and the 111 Project of China (Grant No. B17040).

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