Actuator Optimization for a Back-Support Exoskeleton: The Influence of the Objective Function

  • Tommaso PolieroEmail author
  • Stefano Toxiri
  • Darwin G. Caldwell
  • Jesús Ortiz
Conference paper
Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 22)


Exoskeletons have been interest of researchers and developers spanning a wide range of applications. Active and passive or quasi-passive exoskeletons are being developed. For this latter category, the actuator parameter tuning is generally based on optimization studies. This paper studies how the definition of the objective function affects the passive or quasi-passive exoskeleton actuators configuration and parameters. It also provides indications on how focusing solely on energy optimization might result in an assistance that could alter the user behaviour. Therefore, usability of the exoskeleton and user comfort could be negatively affected. Finally, as a result of the optimization output analysis, we discuss about the advantages of designing a quasi-passive exoskeleton.


  1. 1.
    Toxiri, S., Koopman, A.S., Lazzaroni, M., Ortiz, J., Power, V., de Looze, M.P., Caldwell, D.G.: Rationale, implementation and evaluation of assistive strategies for an active back-support exoskeleton. Front. Robot. AI 5, 53 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    de Looze, M.P., Bosch, T., Krause, F., Stadler, K.S., OSullivan, L.W.: Exoskeletons for industrial application and their potential effects on physical work load. Ergon. 59(5), 671–681 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Choi, I., Corson, N., Peiros, L., Hawkes, E.W., Keller, S., Follmer, S.: A soft, controllable, high force density linear brake utilizing layer jamming. IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett. 3(1), 450–457 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Diller, S., Majidi, C., Collins, S.H.: A lightweight, low-power electroadhesive clutch and spring for exoskeleton actuation. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE, pp. 682-689, May 2016Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ortiz, J., Poliero, T., Cairoli, G., Graf, E., Caldwell, D.G.: Energy efficiency analysis and design optimization of an actuation system in a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton. IEEE Robot. Autom. Lett. 3(1), 484–491 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Baltrusch, S.J., van Dien, J.H., van Bennekom, C.A.M., Houdijk, H.: The effect of a passive trunk exoskeleton on functional performance in healthy individuals. Appl. Ergon. 72, 94–106 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommaso Poliero
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stefano Toxiri
    • 1
  • Darwin G. Caldwell
    • 1
  • Jesús Ortiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Advanced RoboticsIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems EngineeringUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

Personalised recommendations