Active Trunk

Active Trunk

Robo-Mate is a user-friendly intelligent wearable human-robotic exoskeleton for manual handling work of weights up to 15 kg or 7.5 kg per arm. The Active Trunk is one of three Robo-Mate modules. The active trunk module reduces lower back musculoskeletal loading by applying a supporting torque at the hip. The module permits the worker to adopt natural but assisted movements as they perform their lifting activities.

The electro-mechanical design of both the trunk and the arm modules have undergone several iterations and resulted in a redesigned trunk module with a parallel spring actuator, a purely passive and a semi-active arm module which were tested in a laboratory and an industrial setting. Initial tests have been carried out. In addition, concepts to compare tasks quantitatively in simulation and later on the factory shop floor have been developed.

Validating the benefit of an exoskeleton in an industrial context is another key outcome. Robo-Mate was tested in a laboratory setting to evaluate the strain shifts to the human body. These tests were carried out in motion lab at ZHAW, for which approval of the cantonal ethical committee of Zurich was received. In later stages the modules were tested in an industrial setting at our end-user sites on various relevant tasks. The outcome of these tests is promising.

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Demonstration level: Level 6 - System or sub-system model or prototype demonstrated in a relevant environment
Active Trunk
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