Understanding Human-Exosuit Interaction via Physical Interfaces
Yandell, Matthew B
For many populations with the complications of locomotor disability, exoskeletons (i.e., rigid exoskeletons, soft exosuits, and other wearable assistive devices) give promise of increasing mobility and reducing secondary conditions, improving quality of life. For others such as the uninjured, these wearable assistive devices offer the potential to prevent potentially debilitating injuries from repetitive stresses on the body. Exoskeleton research (and the number of new devices) has increased exponentially over the last decade. While exoskeletons have made progress in improving biomechanical outcomes, there remain several areas for improvement in the technology. One of these components, and the key focus of this dissertation, is the physical interface that links exoskeletons and to the human user and contributes to controllability, device form-factor, user comfort and real-world practicality. The theme of this work is understanding the dynamic interaction of the physical interface components of soft exosuits (a subset of exoskeletons) and humans, in an effort to propel exosuits, exoskeletons, and other wearable assistive technologies to be more effective, more inexpensive, and more usable in order to improve quality of life in human society.