A control strategy for a tethered follower robot for pulmonary rehabilitation

Bianchi, Luciano Gustavo
Buniak, Esteban Alejandro
Ramele, Rodrigo
Santos, Juan Miguel
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"Patients that suffer Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) undergo a procedure called Pulmonary Rehabilitation that helps them to improve disease prognosis. Pulmonary Rehabilitation consists of different physical exercises and walking activities conducted at medical facilities under supervision of a physical therapist. In order to perform these procedures, patients require oxygen assistance, but the oxygen tank cannot be carried by the patient due to the musculoskeletal atrophy that characterize this pathology and external assistance is required. The assistance to transport the bulky oxygen tank can be provided by a robotic device that follows the patient while performing the physical activities. This work provides an initial study on the controlling mechanism of a differential tethered robot that implements a leader-follower configuration to carry the oxygen tank for these procedures. Two alternative control strategies are proposed. Results on a simulated and on a real prototype confirms the feasibility of the proposed solution."