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标签:行走 机器人
摘要 : 行走是最普遍的活动,然而我们对其了解却非常少,而且迄今还没有机器人能重现人走路那样的优雅和姿态。

 行走是最普遍的活动,然而我们对其了解却非常少,而且迄今还没有机器人能重现人走路那样的优雅和姿态。现在Steven Collins等人发现,将一个简单的机械外骨骼接到足和踝上,可以将行走中消耗的代谢能量降低7%。这项工作显示,净能量输入并不是降低人行走的代谢成本的一个根本性要求,而减小小腿肌肉用力、同时又满足正常的踝功能、并将与增加的质量或受限的运动相关的惩罚(penalties)降至最小,将会是有好处的。


Reducing the energy cost of human walking using an unpowered exoskeleton


With efficiencies derived from evolution, growth and learning, humans are very well-tuned for locomotion. metabolic energy used during walking can be partly replaced by power input from an exoskeleton, but is it possible to reduce metabolic rate without providing an additional energy source? This would require an improvement in the efficiency of the human–machine system as a whole, and would be remarkable given the apparent optimality of human gait. Here we show that the metabolic rate of human walking can be reduced by an unpowered ankle exoskeleton. We built a lightweight elastic device that acts in parallel with the user's calf muscles, off-loading muscle force and thereby reducing the metabolic energy consumed in contractions. The device uses a mechanical clutch to hold a spring as it is stretched and relaxed by ankle movements when the foot is on the ground, helping to fulfil one function of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Unlike muscles, however, the clutch sustains force passively. The exoskeleton consumes no chemical or electrical energy and delivers no net positive mechanical work, yet reduces the metabolic cost of walking by 7.2 ± 2.6% for healthy human users under natural conditions, comparable to savings with powered devices. Improving upon walking economy in this way is analogous to altering the structure of the body such that it is more energy-effective at walking. While strong natural pressures have already shaped human locomotion, improvements in efficiency are still possible. Much remains to be learned about this seemingly simple behaviour.

来源: Nature 浏览次数:0


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