The technical trend of the exoskeleton robot system for human power assistance



The exoskeleton robot system is a brand new type of human-robot cooperation system. It fully combines human intelligence and robot power so that robot intelligence and human operator’s power are both enhanced. Therefore, it achieves a high-level performance that neither robots nor humans could achieve separately. This paper describes the basic exoskeleton concepts from biological systems to human-robot intelligent systems. It is followed by an overview of the development history of exoskeleton systems and their two main applications: human power assistance and human power augmentation. Besides the key technologies in exoskeleton systems, the research is presented from several viewpoints of the biomechanical design, system structure modeling, human-robot interaction, and control strategy.


Exoskeleton robot system Wearable robot system Human power assistive system Human-robot cooperation system Human-robot interaction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lee, H. D., Yu, S. N., Lee, S. H., Han, J. S., and Han, C. S., “Development of Human-Robot Interfacing Method for Assistive Wearable robot of the Human Upper Extremities,” SICE Annual Conference, pp. 1755–1760, 2008.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yang, C.-J., Zhang, J.-F., Chen, Y., Dong, Y.-M., and Zhang, Y., “A review of exoskeleton-type systems and their key technologies,” Proc. of the IMechE Part C: J. Mechanical Engineering Science, Vol. 222, pp. 1599–1612, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rosen, J. and Perry, J. C., “Upper Limb Powered Exoskeleton,” International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 529–548, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kiguchi, K., Rahman, M. H., Sasaki, M., and Teramoto, K., “Development of a 3DOF mobile exoskeleton robot for human upper-limb motion assist,” Robot and Autonomous System, Vol. 56, No. 8, pp. 678–691, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kim, W. S., Lee, S. H., Kang, M. S., Han, J. S., and Han, C. S., “Energy Efficient Gait Pattern Generation of the Powered Robotic Exoskeleton Using DME,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and System (IROS), pp. 2475–2480, 2010.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zoss, A. B., Kazerooni, H., and Chu, A., “Biomechanical design of the Berkeley lower extremity exoskeleton (BLEEX),” IEEE/ASME Transaction on Mechatronics, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 128–138, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Walsh, C. J., Endo, K., and Herr, H., “A quasi-passive leg exoskeleton for load-carrying augmentation,” International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, Vol. 4, pp. 487–506, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee, S. W. and Sankai, Y., “Virtual impedance adjustment in unconstrained motion for an exoskeletal robot assisting the lower limb,” Advanced Robotics, Vol. 19, No. 7, pp. 773–795, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Banala, S. K., Agrawal, S. K., and Scholz, J. P., “Active Leg Exoskeleton (ALEX) for Gait Rehabilitation of Motor-Impaired Patients,” Proc. of the IEEE Int. Conf. Rehab Robot, pp. 401–407, 2007.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Low, K. H., Liu, X., Goh, C. H., and Yu, H., “Locomotive Control of a Wearable Lower Exoskeleton for Walking Enhancement,” Journal of Vibration and Control, Vol. 12, No. 12, pp. 1311–1336, 2006.CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Yamamoto, K., Ishii, M., Hyodo, K., Yoshimitsu, T., and Matsuo, T., “Development of Power Assisting Suit (Miniaturization of Supply System to Realize Wearable Suit),” JSME International Journal Series C, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 923–930, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Raytheon Company, “Time Magazine Names the XOS 2 Exoskeleton “Most Awesomest” Invention of 2010,”
  13. 13.
    Yu, S. N., Han, J. S., and Han, C. S., “Development of Modulartype Knee-assistive Wearable System,” Journal of the Ergonomics Society of Korea, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 357–364, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dollar, A. M. and Herr, H., “Design of a quasi-passive knee exoskeleton to assist running,” Proc. of the IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. Intell. Rob. Syst., pp. 747–754, 2008.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kazerooni, H. and Steger, R., “The Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton,” Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 128, No. 1, pp. 14–24, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ikeuchi, Y. and Noda, T., “Controller for Walking Assistance Device,” US Patent, No. 0048686 A1, 2009.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lockheed Martin Cooperation, “HULC,”
  18. 18.
    EKSO Bionics, “Product Spec. Sheet,”
  19. 19.
    Adams, J. A., “Critical Considerations for Human-Robot Interface Development,” 2002 AAAI Fall Symposium: Human Robot Interaction Technical Report, pp. 1–8, 2002.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bueno, L., Brunetti, F., Frizera, A., and Pons, J. L., “Human-Robot Cognitive Interaction, in: Pons, J. L. (Ed.), Wearable Robots: Biomechatronic Exoskeletons,” John Wiley & Sons, pp. 87–125, 2008.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rocon, E. A., Ruiz, F., Raya, R., Schiele, A., and Pons, J. L., “Human-Robot Physical Interaction, in: Pons, J. L. (Ed.), Wearable Robots: Biomechatronic Exoskeletons,” John Wiley & Sons, pp. 127–163, 2008.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kawakami, K., Kumano, S., Moromugi, S., and Ishimatsu, T., “Powered glove with electro-pneumatic actuation unit for the disabled,” Proc. of SPIE, Vol. 6794, Paper No. 67943H, 2007.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tsutsui, Y., Sakata, Y., Tanaka, T., Kaneko, S., and Feng, M. Q., “Human joint movement recognition by using ultrasound echo based on test feature classifier,” IEEE SENSORS 2007 Conference, pp. 1205–1208, 2007.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Orizio, C., Diemont, B., Esposito, F., Alfonsi, E., Parrinello, G., Moglia, A., and Veicsteinas, A., “Surface mechanomyogram reflects the changes in the mechanical properties of muscle at fatigue,” European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 276–284, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yano, H., Kaneko, S., Nakazawa, K., Yamamoto, S.-I., and Bettoh, A., “A New Concept of Dynamic Orthosis for Paraplegia: The Weight Bearing Control (WBC) Orthosis,” Prosthetics and Orthotics International, Vol. 21, pp. 222–228, 1997.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Johnson, D. C., Repperger, D. W., and Thompson, G., “Development of a Mobility Assist for the Paralyzed, Amputee, and Spastic Patient,” Biomedical Engineering Conference, pp. 67–70, 1996.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kazerooni, H., “Human-Robot Interaction via the Transfer of Power and Information Signal,” IEEE Transactions on System, Man, and Cybernetics, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 450–463, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    General Electric Co., “Hardiman I Prototype Project, Special Interim Study,” General Electric Report, No. S-68-1060, 1968.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Vukobratovic, M., Hristc, D., and Stojiljkovice, Z., “Development of Active Anthropomorphic Exoskeletons,” Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 66–80, 1974.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Downes, C. G., Hill, S. L., and Gray, J. O., “Distributed Control of an Electrically Powered Hip Orthosis,” International Conference on Control, Vol. 1, pp. 24–30, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lee, H. D., Lee, B. K., Kim, W. S., Gil, M. S., Han, J. S., and Han, C. S., “Human-Robot Cooperative Control Based on pHRI (Physical Human-Robot Interaction) of Exoskeleton Robot for a Human Upper Extremity,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol. 13, No. 6, pp. 985–992, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society for Precision Engineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heedon Lee
    • 1
  • Wansoo Kim
    • 1
  • Jungsoo Han
    • 2
  • Changsoo Han
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Mechanical EngineeringHanyang UniversityAnsan, Gyeonggi-doRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Dept. of Mechanical System EngineeringHansung UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations