Towards human-robot symbiosis - New perspectives for assistive and rehabilitation robotics
This lecture focuses on the major research challenges to address for the development of wearable robotic devices for motion assistance and rehabilitation. NEUROExos is presented as a case study of a new-generation wearable machine. NEUROExos possesses three major innovative features: a double-shelled link structure, which improves the robot wearability and comfort by reducing the pressure on the user's skin; a passive low-friction self-aligning mechanism, which allows the actuated joint axis to be aligned with the instantaneous human joint rotation axis; a bio-inspired antagonistic actuation system with a software-controllable passive compliance. In addition, this lecture also presents the concept and the characterization of a tactile technology used to sense the normal pressure distribution onto the human-robot interaction surface, and a new motion assistance strategy based on rhythmic motor primitives.