How to make an exosuit that helps with awkward lifts #WearableWednesday
Love to see all the work going into making real, functional, exo-suits! To be truly functional suits will need to account for twisting and other non-vertical movements. That is what researchers at Georgia Tech are working to address:
Although most active exosuits support vertical lifts, rotating and twisting movements are also ubiquitous, especially in certain fields of manual labor like garbage collection and baggage handling. In many cases, these motions can be awkward and strenuous, leading to work-related injuries as well as back pain, according to Young. Back pain, in turn, is directly correlated with the strength of compressive forces and shear forces that are applied to the spine.
In designing their exosuit, the researchers sought a way to reduce these loads on the spinal joints. Putting it on looks a little like donning a futuristic backpack. Two motors are first strapped onto the back of each upper thigh. These motors are then connected to the back of the opposite shoulders, each with their own cable, making for two cables that diagonally overlap. The exosuit provides assistance by applying tension to the cables when it detects a wearer rise from a bending posture.
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