Stronger, Smarter, Softer: Next-Generation Wearable Robots


Asbeck AT, De Rossi S, Galiana I, Ding Y, Walsh CJ. Stronger, Smarter, Softer: Next-Generation Wearable Robots. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine [Internet]. 2014;21 (4) :22-33.
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Stronger, Smarter, Softer: Next-Generation Wearable Robots


Exosuits show much promise as a method for augmenting the body with lightweight, portable, and compliant wearable systems. We envision that such systems can be further refined so that they can be sufficiently low profile to fit under a wearer's existing clothing. Our focus is on creating an assistive device that provides a fraction of the nominal biological torques and does not provide external load transfer. In early work, we showed that the system can substantially maintain normal biomechanics and positively affect a wearer's metabolic rate. Many basic fundamental research and development challenges remain in actuator development, textile innovation, soft sensor development, human-machine interface (control), biomechanics, and physiology, which provides fertile ground for academic research in many disciplines. While we have focused on gait assistance thus far, numerous other applications are possible, including rehabilitation, upper body support, and assistance for other motions. We look forward to a future where wearable robots provide benefits for people across many areas of our society.

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See also: Soft Exosuits
Last updated on 04/08/2015