Soft Exosuit (credit: Biodesign Lab at Harvard Univ.)
Updated on Aug 21, 2019
We are developing next-generation soft wearable robots that use innovative textiles to provide a more conformal, unobtrusive and compliant means to interface to the human body. These robots will augment the capabilities of healthy individuals (e.g. improved walking efficiency) in addition to assisting those with muscle weakness or patients who suffer from physical or neurological disorders. As compared to a traditional exoskeleton, these systems have several advantages: the wearer's joints are unconstrained by external rigid structures, and the worn part of the suit is extremely light. These properties minimize the suit's unintentional interference with the body's natural biomechanics and allow for more synergistic interaction with the wearer.
Walking and running require different gaits, with each type of motion putting a greater bias on different muscles and joints. We developed a soft, fully portable, lightweight exosuit that is able to reduce the metabolic rate for both running and walking by assisting each motion via the hip extension. A waist belt holds most of the mass, thus reducing the cost of carrying the suit. By tracking the motion of the user, the suit is able to switch modes between the two types of motion automatically.
An autonomous multi-joint soft exosuit for gait assistance, particularly designed for walking. The soft exosuit assists with ankle plantarflexion, hip flexion, and hip extension, and the suit was designed to equally distribute the forces between hip flexion and ankle plantarflexion.
A modular off-board actuation system with mono-articular hip exosuit, enabling the instantaneous assistive profile
modification of magnitude, shape, and timing during walking and running.
More details about the project can be found on:
Soft Exosuit rebooting at CAU