This paper proposes a novel bionic model of the human leg according to the theory of physiology. Based on this model, we present a biologically inspired 3-degree of freedom (DOF) lower limb exoskeleton for human gait rehabilitation, showing that the lower limb exoskeleton is fully compatible with the human knee joint. The exoskeleton has a hybrid serial-parallel kinematic structure consisting of a 1-DOF hip joint module and a 2-DOF knee joint module in the sagittal plane. A planar 2-DOF parallel mechanism is introduced in the design to fully accommodate the motion of the human knee joint, which features not only rotation but also relative sliding. Therefore, the design is consistent with the requirements of bionics. The forward and inverse kinematic analysis is studied and the workspace of the exoskeleton is analyzed. The structural parameters are optimized to obtain a larger workspace. The results using MATLAB-ADAMS co-simulation are shown in this paper to demonstrate the feasibility of our design. A prototype of the exoskeleton is also developed and an experiment performed to verify the kinematic analysis. Compared with existing lower limb exoskeletons, the designed mechanism has a large workspace, while allowing knee joint rotation and small amount of sliding.

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