Model-Based Comparison of Passive and Active Assistance Designs in an Occupational Upper Limb Exoskeleton for Overhead Lifting

Xianlian Zhou, Liying Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS: In recent years, various upper limb exoskeletons have been developed aiming to support industrial workers for a range of tasks and reduce risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Most commercially available upper limb exoskeletons are passive systems that use compliant elements such as springs or elastic components to store and release energy to assist the user’s motion. In contrast, many active exoskeletons, which are typically comprised of one or more powered actuators to provide joint assistance, are still in the research and development stages. Nevertheless, the functions and efficacy of various exoskeleton systems need to be further compared and assessed. This study presents a model-based approach to evaluate different designs of passive and active assistance and demonstrates the benefits of both assistance methods in an overhead lifting task. In addition, the modeling and simulation indicate the potential advantages of using the active assistance, based on electromyography.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Overhead lifting
  • human-exoskeleton interaction
  • musculoskeletal model
  • upper limb exoskeleton

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