Research Assists Mobility Challenged People

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Yuyi Li, ReBUILDetroit scholar from University of Detroit Mercy, and his Wayne State University mentor, Dr. Chaoyang Chen, developed an exoskeleton to help people with lower limb weakness or paralysis.


“We wanted to approach this by making an exoskeleton,” said Li.  “An exoskeleton is a type of robot whose limbs match with the limbs of a human.”


Identifying the phases of the human gait was challenging because he had not done this before.  “I was very stressed out,” said Li.

Li’s future research includes adding sensors to the joints and comparing it with data from literature.

When asked about conducting further research, Li’s face brighten with a smile and he said resoundingly, “Absolutely!”

Nearly 70 posters were presented during the 2nd annual ReBUILDetroit Summer Research Poster Session at Wayne State University on July 19.

The undergraduate poster session was the culmination of the 8-week Summer Research Experience for scholars in cohorts 2015 and 2016.

Title:  Development of Simpler Walking Code for a Lower-Body Exoskeleton


The Wayne State Robotic Rehabilitation Lab is developing an electronic system that ambulates a four limb lower body exoskeleton prototype. Currently, five prototype boards (Arduino) are connected in a master-slave configuration. One master board sends commands to the slave boards. The slave boards execute the appropriate movement for each limb. In the prototyping process, reduced complexity of a design allows quicker troubleshooting and revision. The following project investigates whether a single Arduino-based board can consistently ambulate a lower body exoskeleton. A walking algorithm will be developed for the single board and tested on a small exoskeleton. Position sensors will be used to measure the joint angles of the small exoskeleton. Two hypotheses will be tested: 1. the joint angles of the four limbs in a walking motion are consistent over time and 2. the joint angles of the four limbs are comparable to results from previous human gait analysis research.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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