Over the last decades a number of wearable robots, targeting larger parts of the body or single joints, have been designed to either assist or resist the motion depending on the application. Given the application scope of exoskeletons and their tight physical interaction with the human body, effectiveness from the perspective of human physiology has typically been underestimated or even neglected. This workshop aims at identifying major scientific and technological challenges, as well as the breakthroughs still needed to push forward wearable robotic technology for the benefit of humanity.
In more detail, the workshop aims to address topics such as:
- Gaining a better understanding of human physiology and the type of assistance that the
considered types of human motions require
- How to overcome technical challenges related to mechanical design limitations due to limits on
size and weight
- Development of adaptive controllers to account for the user’s intentions. Despite recent advances in exoskeletons, control concepts for mutual adaptation between users and devices remains an open research topic. High-level control architectures will also have to take into account the
necessary ergonomic requirements from sensing through to learning and interaction.
- Actuators for active assistive robots and exoskeletons: compliant actuators and the choice of equilibrium position will be discussed as well as variable stiffness actuators (VSA)… how to change stiffness to adjust e.g. to different walking speeds.
- Choice of passive elements (springs, dampers) and design of novel passive components for exoskeleton design and control
- Model-based optimization for exoskeleton design and control: development of realistic models of the human body and the exoskeleton that allow realistics predictions of the behavior in the computer model
- Ergonomic requirements for exoskeletons, challenges for user acceptance, soft tissues for attaching exoskeletons to the body
- Soft exosuits: advantages and limitations, possibilities for combination with other design and control concepts
- Safety requirements in human-exoskeleton interaction
- Aspects of shared motor control between human and device: how can knowledge in shared control from teleoperation setups be generalized to control assistive devices?
The aim of this workshop is to: (1) bring together top experts from relevant disciplines to exchange ideas and results on these and related tasks, as well as on the form of existing and assistive systems; (2) consolidate the field of control and necessary ergonomic requirements; (3) lay down optimal directions for future assistive devices.