Conor Walsh’s team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has been at the forefront of developing different soft wearable robotic devices that support mobility by applying mechanical forces to critical joints of the body, including at the ankle or hip joints, or in the case of a multi-joint soft exosuit both. Because of its potential for relieving overburdened solders in the field, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded the team’s efforts as part of its former Warrior Web program.
The multi-joint soft exosuit consists of textile apparel components worn at the waist, thighs, and calves. Through an optimized mobile actuation system worn near the waist and integrated into a military rucksack, mechanical forces are transmitted via cables that are guided through the exosuit’s soft components to ankle and hip joints. This way, the exosuit adds power to the ankles and hips to assist with leg movements during the walking cycle.
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