Wearable passive upper-limb exoskeletons have been proposed and commercialized as tools to improve the ergonomics of workers in repetitive or physically demanding tasks. In the study presented here, an innovative upper-limb exoskeleton is presented, along with experimental tests with human subjects. The device, called proto-MATE, is characterized by two distinguishing design features: a highly ergonomic human-robot kinematics architecture and bioinspired assistance, created to partially compensate for the user's arm weight. Experimental tests investigated the device's effects on the physical strain of eight upper-limb muscles. These tests also quantified the kinematic coupling between the device and the user by means of specific kinematics-related parameters. The protocol included overhead tasks that are representative of the target application and tasks that generalize nontargeted upperlimb movements and may occur in real working conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering