The goal of BALANCE is to realize a robotic exoskeleton that improves the balance performance of humans while standing and walking. Such a robot could help in situations where keeping balance is difficult, such as in specific work conditions, or help people that have difficulty maintaining their balance, such as people with neurological injury, for example during rehabilitation sessions.
The exoskeleton will be human-cooperative. This means that the exoskeleton will support the user, but not fully take over the control when this is not needed. Depending on the application it can either assist only in difficult conditions or in case of erroneous behavior of the user, or it can fully take over postural balance control of the human user. Supported tasks are functional standing and walking, in a clinical, real all-day life or work environment.
The basic approach of BALANCE is to increase understanding of how human postural control is structured, how and why it functions and is robust in healthy humans, and to use this knowledge to support and enhance the postural control through the exoskeleton in a way that does not impede the normal and remaining human motor control.
BALANCE will study and implement both anticipatory and reactive balancing mechanisms, including impedance adjustment and corrective stepping, and implement a "sense of balance" and "sense of human motion intentions" through sensor fusion techniques and data analysis. The ultimate goal is to have the exoskeleton seamlessly cooperate with the human user.
A consortium of specialists in exoskeleton hardware development, human motor control, exoskeleton control, adaptive robot control, gait mechanics, biomechanical sensing and balance assessment technology has joined through BALANCE in order to achieve these objectives.
The exploitation of the results will focus on applications in neuro-rehabilitation and worker support.
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BALANCE launches Frontiers Research Topic "On the Forefront of Control for Wearable Robots"
July 28, 2016 | Published by Administrator
Balance launched a call for papers in a special research topic in Frontiers. More information can be found on: http://journal.frontiersin.org/researchtopic/5011/on-the-forefront-of-control-for-wearab