Optimizing Design Characteristics of Passive and Active Spinal Exoskeletons for Challenging Work Tasks
Spinal exoskeletons can reduce the cumulative back load of physically demanding working tasks and, thus, have the potential to reduce the risk of low-back injuries. In this work, we perform a comparative design study of active and passive spinal exoskeletons to support stoop-lifts of a 10 kg box. We recorded various healthy subjects performing this motion and created mathematical models of the subjects and of active spinal exoskeletons. The spring characteristics as well as the torque profiles are optimized to reduce the load on the subjects while they are tracking the recorded stoop-lifts. In addition, it is ensured that the exoskeletons remain comfortable to wear during the motion. The obtained results are compared to results from a similar setup using a passive spinal exoskeleton.
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