1. Development of a hip exoskeleton robot for load lifting
Manual material handling is one of the demanding works done by industrial workers. Repetitive and heavyweight lifting causes a reduction in fatigue levels of the human body. This eventually develops into work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Hip exoskeleton robot is developed to assist workers during load lifting.
Developed exoskeleton robot supports two degrees of freedom (DOF) in pelvis namely flexion-extension, abduction-adduction and two DOF of spine namely flexion-extension and lateral flexion. Supported DOF of the spine provides natural lumbo-pelvic motion during lifting. Flexion-extension motion is actively supported using a parallel actuator which includes motor and a parallel spring with maximum supportive torque of 30Nm per each side of the exoskeleton. Parallel spring dissipates the stored passive energy during leaning motion of the lifting cycle. Effectiveness of the exoskeleton robot was verified using surface electromyography signals by measuring the muscle activity and using real-time current measurements of the device.