Lower-limb amputees can reduce the energy cost of walking when assisted by an Active Pelvis Orthosis

E. Martini, C. B. Sanz-Morere, C. Livolsi, A. Pergolini, G. Arnetoli, S. Doronzio, A. Giffone, R. Conti, F. Giovacchini, P. Frieriksson, K. Lechler, S. Crea, N. Vitiello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Exoskeletons could compete with active prostheses as effective aids to reduce the increased metabolic demands faced by lower-limb amputees during locomotion. However, little evidence of their efficacy with amputees has been provided so far. In this paper, a portable hip exoskeleton has been tested with seven healthy subjects and two transfemoral amputees, with the final goal to verify whether a hip flexion-extension assistance could be effective in reducing the metabolic cost of walking. The metabolic power of the participants was estimated through indirect calorimetry during alternated repetitions of three treadmill-based walking conditions: without the exoskeleton (NoExo), with the exoskeleton in zero-torque mode (ExoTM) and with the exoskeleton providing hip flexion-extension assistance (ExoAM). The results showed that the exoskeleton reduced the net metabolic power of the two amputees in ExoAM with respect to NoExo, by 5.0% and 3.4%. With healthy subjects, a 5.5±3.1% average reduction in the metabolic power was observed during ExoAM compared to ExoTM (differences were not statistically significant), whereas ExoAM required 3.9±3.0% higher metabolic power than NoExo (differences were not statistically significant). These results provide initial evidence of the potential of exoskeletal technologies for assisting lower-limb amputees, thereby paving the way for further experimentations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 8th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2020
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages809-815
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728159072
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Event8th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2020 - New York City, United States
Duration: Nov 29 2020Dec 1 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics
Volume2020-November
ISSN (Print)2155-1774

Conference

Conference8th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference for Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2020
CountryUnited States
CityNew York City
Period11/29/2012/1/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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