Development of an Ankle De-loading Device Based on Stewart Platform
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This paper presents an ankle de-loading device based on a Stewart platform for ankle pain caused by Osteoarthritis (OA)/Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or ankle fracture surgery. The developed device aims to relieve the ankle pain by lifting the posterior section of the foot and distributing the ankle pressure to other parts of the body. The thesis elaborates on design and development process of the device. The developing process of the system follows strictly the engineering design process. The final design of system was selected among three different concepts. The structural calculations of the system were conducted, and the developed system was built for further experiments. Validation experiments for ankle de-loading performance were conducted by comparing the force condition with and without the device using force sensors placed on foot sole. The result indicated that the reaction force at the posterior section of the foot was decreasing significantly. Therefore, we can assume that the developed device can de-load the ankle joint force by leaning the foot heel toward the toe section.