Safe Guidance for a Walking-Assistant Robot Using Gait Estimation and Obstacle Avoidance

Kai-Tai Song*, Sin Yi Jiang, Shang Yang Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


This paper presents a motion control design for a walking-assistant robot by combining passive-compliant behavior and active obstacle avoidance. The proposed method recognizes the intended motion for a user using gait movement and the applied force of a hand. A passive-compliant motion control is developed that allows the user to safely walk with the robot. The obstacle avoidance controller actively controls the velocity to guide the user in a direction that avoids collisions. A shared-control scheme combines active obstacle avoidance and passive-compliant motion commands. The experimental results verify the effectiveness of the proposed method and show that the robot allows a user to walk safely in a complex environment. A questionnaire survey of elderly users shows that the proposed design for a walking-assistant robot gives satisfactory performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8013831
Pages (from-to)2070-2078
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Compliance motion control
  • gait estimation
  • obstacle avoidance
  • shared control
  • walking-assistant robot

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