The work presented in this paper is our first step toward the development of an exoskeleton for human gait support. The device we foresee should be suitable for assisting walking in paralyzed subjects and should be based on myoelectrical muscular signals (EMGs) as a communication channel between the human and the machine. This paper concentrates on the design of a biomechanical model of the human lower extremity. The system predicts subject's intentions from the analysis of his/her electromyographical activity. Our model takes into account three main factors. Firstly, the main muscles spanning the knee articulation. Secondly, the gravity affecting the leg during its movement. Finally, it considers the limits within which the leg swings. Furthermore, it is capable of estimating several knee parameters such as joint moment, angular acceleration, angular velocity, and angular position. In order to have a visual feedback of the predicted movements we have implemented a three-dimensional graphical simulation of a human leg which moves in response to the commands computed by the model.
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