Next Article in Journal
Impact of Autonomous Vehicles on the Physical Infrastructure: Changes and Challenges
Next Article in Special Issue
Smart Monitoring Pad for Prediction of Pressure Ulcers with an Automatically Activated Integrated Electro-Therapy System
Previous Article in Journal
Multi-Layered Documentation of Heritage Villages: The Case of Tinbak, Qatar
Previous Article in Special Issue
Usability Study through a Human-Robot Collaborative Workspace Experience
 
 
Article

Back-Support Exoskeleton Control Strategy for Pulling Activities: Design and Preliminary Evaluation

1
Department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, 16163 Genova, Italy
2
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexandre Schmid
Designs 2021, 5(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs5030039
Received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 9 June 2021 / Accepted: 24 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
The execution of manual material handling activities in the workplace exposes workers to large lumbar loads that increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and low back pain. In particular, the redesign of the workplace is making the execution of pulling activities more common, as an alternative to lifting and carrying tasks. The biomechanical analysis of the task revealed a substantial activation of the spinal muscles. This suggests that the user may benefit from the assistance of a back-support exoskeleton that reduces the spinal muscle activity and their contribution to lumbar compression. This work addresses this challenge by exploiting the versatility of an active back-support exoskeleton. A control strategy was specifically designed for assisting pulling that modulates the assistive torques using the forearm muscle activity. These torques are expected to adapt to the user’s assistance needs and the pulled object mass, as forearm muscle activity is considered an indicator of grip strength. We devised laboratory experiments to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed strategy. We found that, for the majority of the subjects, back muscle activity reductions were associated with the exoskeleton use. Furthermore, subjective measurements reveal advantages in terms of perceived support, comfort, ease of use, and intuitiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: low back pain; exoskeleton; back-support; manual material handling; pulling task low back pain; exoskeleton; back-support; manual material handling; pulling task
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Lazzaroni, M.; Poliero, T.; Sposito, M.; Toxiri, S.; Caldwell, D.G.; Di Natali, C.; Ortiz, J. Back-Support Exoskeleton Control Strategy for Pulling Activities: Design and Preliminary Evaluation. Designs 2021, 5, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/designs5030039

AMA Style

Lazzaroni M, Poliero T, Sposito M, Toxiri S, Caldwell DG, Di Natali C, Ortiz J. Back-Support Exoskeleton Control Strategy for Pulling Activities: Design and Preliminary Evaluation. Designs. 2021; 5(3):39. https://doi.org/10.3390/designs5030039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lazzaroni, Maria, Tommaso Poliero, Matteo Sposito, Stefano Toxiri, Darwin G. Caldwell, Christian Di Natali, and Jesús Ortiz. 2021. "Back-Support Exoskeleton Control Strategy for Pulling Activities: Design and Preliminary Evaluation" Designs 5, no. 3: 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/designs5030039

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop