The Biomechatronics Group is developing a robotic research platform that can simulate a variety of wearable devices, enabling rapid advancement of the human-machine interface.
A powerful six degrees-of-freedom tethered wearable robotic system is proposed for understanding how a wearable robotic intervention worn on the legs of a human user influences the kinetics, kinematics, electromyography and metabolic cost of human locomotion. With a modular tethered actuation design and minimum body attachments, the simulator can be easily maintained and expanded to include additional modules for more actuated degrees-of-freedom. This device can be used to test hypotheses about building effective exoskeletons and prostheses, as well as realize different kinds of rehabilitation strategies. It can also be used to understand the effect of different types of wearable systems and associated sensing and control strategies on the movements of able-bodied or disabled persons.
The wearable robotic simulator could be used as a tool for companies or institutes to develop exoskeletal, orthotic or prosthetic devices, or rehabilitation strategies. Moreover, the proposed device can be used as a body training machine since it can realize any training strategy while measuring simultaneously biological data. These features are ideal for professional athletes or amateurs to gain optimized training results.
Jiun-Yih Kuan and Hugh Herr