Branko Brackx

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This paper describes the design and development of an exoskeleton that can deliver assistance-as-needed to patients or elderly with muscle weakness. Since the proof-of-concept is a first step towards the development of a final commercial prototype, the design had to be adaptable for patients with different heights, be comfortable for the patients, safe in(More)
In an ageing population many people with muscle weakness may benefit from an assisting exoskeleton to improve their mobility. Recent developments in research labs around the world are often complex, not modular and expensive. This paper introduces a novel modular compliant actuator for use in assistive lower limb exoskeletons. It is a low-cost,(More)
Future robots will need to perform complex and versatile tasks comparable to those of humans. Due to the unavailability of suitable actuators, however, novel intelligent and agile robots are often restricted in their performances and development. The limited output torque range and low energy efficiency of current robotic actuators are the main bottlenecks.(More)
Almost all of the transtibial prostheses that are available on the market are purely passive devices. These prostheses store (potential) energy in an elastic element during the controlled dorsiflexion phase of stance and release it right after in order to move the body forward. As a result of this, only the energy which has been stored can be used for(More)
High-performance actuators are required for numerous novel applications such as human-robot assistive devices. The torque-to-weight ratio and energy efficiency of current actuation technology is often too low, which limits the performance of novel robots. Therefore, we developed a Series-Parallel Elastic Actuator (SPEA) which enables variable recruitment of(More)
Traditional stiff actuators have a high reflected inertia, which do not meet the safety requirements, are bad to absorb shocks and cannot store and release energy which are for different applications required. Initiated by the introduction of the Series Elastic Actuator (SEA) by Gill A. Pratt in 1995, a wide range of Variable Impedance Actuators (VIA) are(More)
The Mechanically Adjustable Compliance and Controllable Equilibrium Position Actuator (MACCEPA) is a Variable Stiffness Actuator (VSA) where both equilibrium position and stiffness of the actuator can be controlled independently. It uses only one linear spring and has a simple design but its compactness is limited by the spring. For this reason a MACCEPA(More)
Modern actuation schematics become increasingly ingenious by deploying springs and locking mechanisms in series and/or parallel. Many of these solutions are, however, tailored for a specific application and a general schematic that allows for drastic energy reduction remains a challenge. We have developed a series-parallel elastic actuator (SPEA) based on a(More)
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