The population aged 60 and over is expected to rise considerably in the coming years. The rise in life expectancy combined with falling birth rates, will accelerate the ageing of this population. Facing this problem or reducing its effect would have a great societal impact by improving the quality of life and regaining people independence. On the other hand, robotic applications have rapidly expanded from classical industrial applications with repetitive tasks to applications with close human-robot interaction. Particularly, wearable robotics has gained an increasing attention in the last decades and it is expected to have a great impact on the development of assisting robotic devices. Given the application scope of exoskeletons and their tight physical interaction with the human body, consideration of human physiology is crucial for all aspects of exoskeleton research and development. Nevertheless, there are many cases when such devices are designed, built and/or controlled in a way that either underestimates or even neglects the physiological and biomechanical parameters pertinent to the human body. In addition, the emergence of novel wearable technologies with considerable reduction in size, cost and energy consumption, are becoming a privileged solution to provide assistive services to humans. Despite of the significant technological and scientific advancements achieved in the field of wearable powered robotic technologies, we have not yet witnessed the success of a fully-wearable powered assistive robotic device, e.g. a robotic suit, which is easy to wear and intuitive to cooperate with.

In this framework, the purpose of this workshop is to gather PhD students and researchers from different fields related to wearable robotics and assistive devices, to lively discuss the current trends, the major advances, the new research directions and future challenges in the field of wearable robots and its common edge with human physiology. Moreover, real demos and poster sessions will provide an opportunity for all participants to interact and exchange their experience together.

The workshop is structured in two main parts.

Part I is entitled “Exoskeleton Research on the Edge Between Robotics and Human Physiology”.  The aim of the first part is to bridge the gap between the physiological, neuromuscular and biomechanical requirements of the human body, and the robotic endeavor to create wearable systems that would efficiently augment or substitute capabilities of the human body. Together we will discuss how to leverage exoskeleton research with understanding of human physiology in order to advance it into a key technology for effective assistance in our daily life.

Part II is entitled “Wearable Robotics for Motion Assistance and Rehabilitation – RoboAssist 2016”. This second part is a continuity of successful previous workshops held at:

This will be therefore the fourth edition of RoboAssist Workshop and aims at contributing to discuss the state of the art and the future trends of the use of wearable robotics for motion assistance and rehabilitation.


We welcome prospective participants to submit extended abstracts (up to 2 pages) to be presented as posters. The manuscripts should use the IEEE IROS two-column format. Please submit a PDF copy of your manuscript by email to the email address tadej.petric[at] and samer.mohammed[at] before August 15th. Each paper will receive a minimum of two reviews. Papers will be selected based on their originality, relevance to the workshop topics, contributions, technical clarity, and presentation. Accepted papers require that at least one of the authors register to the workshop. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to present and discuss your ongoing work and get an early feedback from the participants.

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline for papers: 22 August, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance:  15 September, 2016


  • Exoskeleton Design
  • Actuators for Exoskeletons
  • Exoskeleton Control
  • Ergonomical aspects
  • Biomechanical effects of exoskeletons on humans
  • Human Motion Understanding
  • Intention Recognition
  • Human Sensorimotor Learning
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Human-Robot Interfaces
  • Role Allocation
  • Learning and Shared Control
  • Human-in- the-Loop Control
  • Model-Based Optimization


Location: Room 104
Date: 14 October, 2016

Introduction and welcome: organizers

Part I: Exoskeleton Research on the Edge Between Robotics and Human Physiology

Session 1

Invited talkTowards Exoskeletons that Support Balance
Herman van der Kooij, Twente / TU Delft, The Netherlands

Invited talkFrom Humanoid Robotics to Robot Suits
Tamim Asfour, Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics, KIT, Germany

Coffee Break

Session 2

Invited talkRequirements for an Exoskeleton to Prevent Low-back Pain in Manual Materials Handlers
Axel Koopman, Idsart Kingma, VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Invited talkBenchmarking Performance and Safety of Wearable Robots: Metrics and Testing Methods
Jan Veneman, Technalia, Spain

Invited talkDevelopment of Upper-extremity Exoskeleton driven by Pneumatic Cylinder towards Robotic Rehabilitation
Tomoyuki Noda, Dept. of Brain Robot Interface, ATR, Japan

Teaser session Poster: Steven Lessard et al.:Observing Motor Impairment using the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) to Guide Soft Exosuit Design

Teaser session Poster: Wyatt Felt and C. David Remy: Variable Inductance Structures for Self-Sensing Soft Actuation in Wearable Robotic Devices

Teaser session Poster Useok Jeong and Kyu-Jin Cho: Sensorless Force Control of a Bowden-cable Transmission with a Shape Estimation

Lunch 1h30

Part II: Wearable Robotics for Motion Assistance and Rehabilitation – RoboAssist 2016

Session 3

Invited talkBiomechanical and neuromotor interactions in Wearable Robotics: a clinical perspective
José L. Pons, CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Invited talkDesign of the actuators of the BIOMOT exoskeleton
Bram Vanderborght, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Invited talkWalking support of semi-spinal cord injury patients by lower-limb exoskeleton robot
Shingo Shimoda, Intelligent Behavior Control Collaboration Unit, RIKEN, Japan

Teaser session Poster: Youngmok Yun, et al.: EMG-driven Hand Exoskeleton for Spinal-cord-injury Patients

Coffee Break

Session 4

Invited talkThe Robotic Sixth Finger: a wearable extra limb to compensate hand function in chronic post stroke patient
Domenico Prattichizzo, University of Siena, Italy

Invited talkExo-Glove Poly: Soft wearable robot for the hand
Kyujin Cho, Seoul National University, Korea

Invited talkSeries-elastic based wearable robots
Simona Crea, BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy

Invited talkHarmony and Maestro: Two Robots for Upper-limb Rehabilitation
Ashish Desphande, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Texas

Teaser session Poster: D. Copaci et al.: Wearable elbow exoskeleton actuated with Shape Memory Alloy in antagonist movement

Teaser session Poster: Matteo Bianchi et al.: Development of an EMG triggered hand exoskeleton for assistive and rehabilitation purposes

Panel Session, concluding remarks, future activities: organizers