FlexSEA-Execute: Advanced Motion Controller for Wearable Robotic Applications

J.F. Duval, H. M. Herr


Wearable robots, such as powered prostheses and active exoskeletons, often rely on electric motors for actuation. Emulating biological joint angle and torque profiles requires special sensors, high peak power and advanced real-time controls. Safety is paramount and fail-safe circuits are required to detect and correct problematic situations. A smaller, lighter circuit can lead to a more efficient and affordable robot. Few commercial motor drivers accommodate all of these requirements. In this paper we present FlexSEA-Execute (Figure 1), the advanced motion controller part of FlexSEA, the FLEXible, Scalable Electronics Architecture designed for wearable robotic applications. At 36cm³ and 34.8g, this PSoCbased design integrates a 8A/25A (continuous/pulse) brushed/brushless motor driver, a safety co-processor, multidrop RS-485, a strain gauge amplifier, a 6-axis inertial motion unit (IMU), USB, and a programmable expansion connector.

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