In this paper, we present a prototype of an innovative portable shoulder exoskeleton for human assistance and augmentation. The device provides torques to flexion/extension movements of the shoulder, compensating for gravitational forces, and is passively compliant along the remaining degrees of freedom letting the shoulder moving along them. The novelty of our system is a flexible link, made of a hyper-redundant passive structure, that avoids joint misalignment by adapting to the complex movements of the humerus head, similarly to a soft component. The flexible link is compliant to rotations around one axis but rigid around the other two axes, allowing transmission of flexion/extension torque but kinematically transparent along the remaining degrees of freedom. The device is light weight and allows to cover around the 82% of the shoulder flexion/extension range of motion. The exoskeleton was tested on a cohort of 5 healthy subjects, monitoring shoulder kinematics, interaction forces and acquiring the electromyography of three major muscles contributing to shoulder flexion. During both static postures and dynamic movements, assistance from the exoskeleton resulted in a significant reduction of muscular effort in the anterior (-32.2% in static, -25.3% in dynamic) and medial deltoid (56.9% in static, -49.6% in dynamic) and an average reduction of the biceps brachii.
|Titolo:||On the edge between soft and rigid: An assistive shoulder exoskeleton with hyper-redundant kinematics|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo Atti Congressi/Articoli in extenso|