Extending the spinal orthotic module with a passive self-aligning hip module

A misalignment compensation mechanism for the hip was developed to increase the comfort of the exoskeleton and to hinder movements as little as possible. A purely passive torque source at hip level generates the support needed to unload the lower back.

Passive spinal orthosis with viscoelastic element

Continuus carbon fiber beams which generate support and allow for a large range of motion are used as a back interface. Combined with the torque source at the hip, they generate the torque which reduces the strain on the lower back.

Biomechanical requirements for active version of spinal exoskeleton

We assessed full body kinematics and spine load components in natural lifting, to find kinematic and support pattern requirements for the SPEXOR actuated exoskeleton. Furthermore, using a benchmark actuated exoskeleton, we investigated how specific actuation control modes interact with subject behavior, and how this affects spine loading.

Biomechanical requirements for passive spinal exoskeleton are defined

We assessed to what extent a benchmark exoskeleton reduces spine loading and changes body kinematics during static trunk bending and during lifting. Additionally, we investigated how it affects perceived comfort, effort, performance, and metabolic energy consumption during functional activities such as walking and stair climbing. Based on these data, biomechanical requirements for the spexor passive exoskeleton were refined.

Monitoring system runs with full body model

The SPEXOR monitoring system is now linked with the full-body dynamical model providing insight into the musculoskeletal stress parameters. Further optimization for real-time processing and feedback are being addressed.

Controller for passive spinal exoskeleton

The controller for engagement and disengagement of the hip spring is developed. It is based on the probabilistic model of the human motion that classifies whether the user requires the support of the exoskeleton or the exoskeleton should remain disengaged to allow free motion.