Infoscience

Conference paper

Concept of a soft exosuit for the support of leg function in rehabilitation

In the past couple of years, the concept of exosuits has emerged. These soft, robotic devices are primarily made of textiles and can be worn like clothes. They assist the user during specific motions by transmitting forces around the human joints making use of the bone structure. By definition, these systems lack rigid structures as they are used in traditional exoskeletons. Hence, exosuits are able to reduce some of the negative aspects of these devices like high mass and kinematic constraints. Thus far, exosuits have mainly been used for performance augmentation of healthy people. In this paper, we present an approach that transfers these devices to rehabilitation by setting the objective to restore mobility of people with lower limb impairments. Therefore, a suitable application scenario in rehabilitation has been identified. Based on a detailed analysis of existing gait and motion data, a concept and a passive prototype for a multiarticular, lower limb exosuit was developed. By exploiting synergies of torque and power in kinematically coupled joints, the exosuit will be able to create assistive torques in multiple joints with only one linear actuator per leg. © 2015 IEEE.

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