Exoskeletons could also be regarded as wearable robots: A wearable robot is a mechatronic system that is designed around the shape and function of the human body, with segments and joints corresponding to those of the person it is externally coupled with. Exoskeletons are powered by a system of motors or hydraulics that delivers at least part of the energy for limb movement.

The main function of a powered exoskeleton is to assist the wearer by boosting their strength and endurance. They are commonly designed for:

  • Rehabilitation of stroke or Spinal cord injury patients
  • Military use, to help soldiers carry heavy loads both in and out of combat.
  • In civilian areas, similar exoskeletons could be used to help firefighters and other rescue workers survive dangerous environments.
  • The medical field is another prime area for exoskeleton technology, where it can be used for enhanced precision during surgery, or as an assist to allow nurses to move heavy patients.

To develop an exoskeleton robot, one must analyze how it interacts with the human body during the design phase. This study extended previous research by generating a highly detailed human-exoskeleton model. The study also involved conducting a dynamics analysis by evaluating the force exerted on the human body during the design phase.

e1When a person wears an exoskeleton robot, it is sometimes worn with minimal constraints only. At other times, straps are used that constrain most of the affected parts of the body. Fewer constraints may be beneficial because constraints connecting the human body and the product can make the wearer uncomfortable. However, the use of fewer constraints may also cause the interaction between the human body and the exoskeleton robot to be concentrated at a few contact points. Thus, this study examined how the human body is affected by straps that constrain the body and connect it to the exoskeleton robot by musculoskeletal simulations

 

The Average Joint Torques and Maximum Joint Torques during lifting are shown as below:

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When one is lifting or working with an object that weights little, the joints torque does not include increase to a very high level, and thus, whether or not straps are used does not affect the human body considerably. It might even be more comfortable for the wearer not to use straps given the discomfort that can arise from the use of straps. However, when lifting and working with an object with a large mass, one will find that a large load is imposed on the joints if straps are not used. Thus, the use of straps is recommended to lessen joint fatigue.

 

AnyBody Exoskeleton Model

 

 

Exoskeleton Device Analysis for Gait using AnyBody Modeling System