Exoskeletons towards Industrie 4.0: Implementation as a Communication Tool in Manufacturing
Fraunhofer IPA

During the last decade, the benefits of exoskeletons for industrial purposes as ergonomics tools have been studied with successful results. They help to reduce fatigue and prevent injuries during lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and overhead-positions tasks. Also exoskeletons have benefits as a communication tool in smart factories. they could interact with other systems such as automated guided robots in the supply chain, assembly tools, automated machines, and autonomous software, saving time during the assembly process of different products and reducing faults from operators.

Cybernics Treatment with Wearable Cyborg HAL for Functional Improvement
Cyberdyne Europe GmbH

HAL® [Hybrid Assistive Limb®] from Cyberdyne Inc., Japan, is the world‘s first cyborg-type robot, by which a wearer‘s bodily functions can be improved, supported and enhanced. When a person moves the body, various signals are sent from the brain to muscles through nerves. Those signals leak on the skin surface as “bio-electric signals [BES]”. HAL for Medical Use - Lower Limb Model reads the wearer’s BES, accordingly compensates muscle power of lower limbs and assists him or her in walking, standing-up and sitting-down with his or her own legs. The brain confirms how the body moved on what sort of signals and becomes able to learn the way to emit necessary signals for walking gradually. This leads to the important first step in walking of a physically challenged person without being assisted by HAL®. Wearing of HAL® leads to a fusion of “man”, “machine” and “information”.

Powerful Predictive Human Motion Models
Universität zu Lübeck

In the talk we will discuss how a probabilistic model can be used to predict complex human movements from observing only a few milliseconds of a subset of all recorded limb trajectories. The model can handle partial observable, missing data and is robust to sensor noise. In a postural control experiment, I demonstrate how this model can be used to predict goal directed right arm motions solely from observing the motion of the trunk or left arm. The model can be also used for active Exoskeleton control, model validation, classification or movement analyses and is as such interesting for a broad range of research approaches working with multi-modal motion data.

Machine Learning Techniques for Human-Robot Collaboration: Design and Validation of Control Algorithms
Swiss AI Lab IDSIA (Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sull'Intelligenza Artificiale)

The presentation will described machine learning approaches that have been applied to the human-robot collaboration, considering the I4.0 scenario. In particular, the main focus is on the assistance and empowering of human operators in onerous and heavy applications. By identifying the intention of motion of the human (e.g., mapping the interaction dynamics), such approaches allow to support the operator even during the manipulation of unknown weight parts. The propsoed approaches have been validated in order to show the obtained high-performance in the human-robot co-manipulation of heavy parts. Such techniques have been firstly applied to a colaborative robot (KUKA iiwa 14 R820) and are going to be applied to an exoskeleton that has been designed within the CNR-STIIMA research institute.

Lower-limb powered exoskeleton in gait rehabilitation – customers satisfaction with the device and the related services in Finland
University of Eastern Finland

Powered lower-limb exoskeletons are a new form of gait rehabilitation. There are little data on the users’ satisfaction with devices and related services. We have evaluated customers satisfaction of lower limb exoskeletons and related services in Finland.

Textile-based soft wearable actuators
Technische Universität Chemnitz

We will present the fabrication of two types of textile-based soft inflatable actuator which are made of a bladder wrapped by textile and tongyonged inside textile parallel channels. The first actuator is made at different sizes to be used in a large range of wearable applications such as soft exosuits. Five actuator were attached to a commercial glove fingers and form a wearable glove, the glove shows different gestures and it is able to lift 9 [kg] weights. With a larger scale, the actuator was able to lift 20 [kg]. The second actuator shows flexible and versatile behaviour by exhibiting a wide range of motions such as bending, expanding, and twisting. Hybrid actuation (cable-driven, and pneumatics) allows online programing of behaviour and therefore a potential use in soft wearable exosuits.

Development of an exoskeleton for elderly to support stair ascent and descent
Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK Leipzig)

In case of weak muscle power elderly people often have problems during stair ascent and descent. An exoskeleton for elderly that support the movement of stair negotiation could be a solution to avoid these problems, also as an alternative to stair lifts. The vision of this exoskeleton and the setting of the requirements will be presented first. To set the requirements, we conducted a biomechanical study with elderly and young people and investigated the moments in the lower limb with AnyBody Modeling System™. After that the conceptual and detailed design of the exoskeleton will be shown. The result of the research and development is a first prototype of the exoskeleton for the special movement of stair negotiation.

Benchmarking Industrial Exoskeleton Technology: Moving in Narrow Spaces
CTAG Automotive Technology Centre of Galicia

We will present the work in progress and lesson learned from the development of TestEd project. TestEd aims to design a testbed and software routines for “Moving in Narrow Spaces”. We will link three use-cases from the manufacturing industry. The industrial exoskeleton centered TestEd will be implemented in industry with confidence. It is important to note the present method is efficient in identifying the local evaluation criteria performance of an exoskeleton in scientific fashion but lack the global performance perspective. Today, we predominantly use our experience and intuition for global performance. We like proposing the development of testing performance matrices on the basis of local and global performance. TestEd will develop performance matrices for the evaluation of the local and global evaluation criteria. It will provide a scientifically validated performance metric that can help testers, users and the OEM to quickly test their devices both in terms of the local evaluation criteria and global performance of the device. It can also lay the ground for the development of business models for the certification bodies around Europe.

Occupational exoskeletons: From laboratory research to integration in the companies
The French National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases(INRS)

To deal with the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in physically demanding tasks, research is focusing on the use of exoskeletons. Based on the available evidence underlying the claimed efficiency of exoskeletons in reducing biomechanical strains at work, this communication firstly aims at discussing the benefits and potential musculoskeletal risks associated with using these devices. At the light of the main deficiencies in current knowledge, the research necessary to develop future generations of exoskeletons also are presented. But, even if the potential of exoskeletons to attenuate muscular strains seems promising in laboratory, the ability to determine the value proposition of an exoskeleton in the workplace is difficult due to the variety of methods and metrics used, and the protean character of these technologies. In a second part, this communication presents a standard framework for the evaluation of the human-exoskeleton interaction, with the hope to improve their future integration.

A review of CEA's robotic contributions to exoskeleton design and control for limb mobilisation and load carrying assistance: From ABLE to HERCULE and EMY.
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

Over the 15 last years, the CEA robotic service has developed several types of exoskeletons both for upper and low limb, as well as innovative technologies covering the mobilization of limbs through Brain Computer Interface for medical applications and the assistance to carry loads for the industry. This presentation is the occasion of reviewing these main innovations and to propose a classification in terms of architecture, actuators and control methods.

User Requirements on Exoskelettons for Working Environments

The technical possibilities of exoskeletons have the potential to help logistics employees to work more ergonomically, reduce illness and make employee deployment more flexible. However, like all technical aids, exoskeletons intervene directly in the work system and must be used and accepted by the employees. As part of the BMVI-funded research project KALI, YOUSE conducted a field test of an exoskeleton over several months. User requirements for the design of exoskeletons were collected, which can improve further developments and future research. In this presentation we would like to give an insight into this work and the user perspective on exoskeletons and present possible obstacles in the implementation of the technology in the context of logistics.

Ironhand-Best practice with Eiffage Infrastructures

More details to come www.bioservo.com

Towards an enhanced workforce: moving from technological to managerial challenges
University of Twente

This presentation analyses the challenges that are raised by introducing human enhancement technologies to the workplace, for the purpose of making both the individual and the organisations perform better. A typology of approaches to organisational enhancement is described. We show how available technologies match these needs and highlight gaps which can inspire future developments by engineers. Then, we take one step further and question the acceptance and efficiency of such technologies. We show based on empirical data collected in an organization testing wearables for augmentation that resistance to the augmentation practice comes down to how organizations manage the implementation of the technology. It opens questions to how the technology can be designed for more procedural justice and areas for future research collaboration between developers, engineers, and social scientists, to shape the development of the augmentation market.

Modeling the Physical Human-Exoskeleton Interface
Politecnico di Torino (Royal Turin Polytechnic)

Digital human models are used extensively in the design and dynamic analysis of exoskeletons. The assistance provided by exoskeletons is received by the user at the physical human-exoskeleton interface. Therefore, correct simulation of the interface forces is crucial for simulating the dynamics of the human-exoskeleton system. Often, the human-exoskeleton interface forces are estimated through the use of rigid kinematic joints. However, in reality, the interfaces are formed by straps, cuffs or molded surfaces. In this work, a new approach to model the interface forces is presented, potentially allowing the simulation of curved surfaces and friction at the interface. A case study on Chairless Chair will be used to discuss the key aspects of modeling the physical human-exoskeleton interface.

Myontec Ergoanalysis in assessing benefits of an exoskeleton in reducing upper extremity work load

Myontec’s Ergoanalysis™ is a novel method used to measure work related physical loading at workplaces with smart clothing combining hand and shoulder electromyography (EMG), upper extremity and back movements as well as heart rate. The wearable technology is patented and scientifically validated. Portable devices and apps are used to execute the measurements wirelessly. Web application ErgoLink and ErgoAnalysis Cloud Service are platforms for data analysis, reporting, data storage and data transfer to the client. The ErgoanalysisTM Quick Report includes algorithms taking into account scientific recommendations for maximum work physical loading. ErgonalysisTM can be a fast tool in visualizing benefits of an exoskeleton in reducing upper extremity physical loading during a work phase. e more at www.myontec.com

Numerical analysis and ergonomic evaluation of exoskeletons with digital human simulation – A general framework and the “PAEXO” case study
imk automotive GmbH

The goal of this work is to study the possibilities for numerical simulation of the effects of exoskeletons on biomechanical and physiological properties of the human body using the AnyBody Modelling System (AMS). AMS provides a digital human model of the entire body including muscles, bones and tendons. It allows the simulation and evaluation of physical activities with and without existing exoskeleton products or prototypes. Moreover, it may be used for investigating and optimizing virtual prototypes of new exoskeletons and conducting studies on different anthropometric populations with less effort. In our presentation, we will provide a general framework for using digital human simulation to study exoskeletons. Moreover, we will present a case study using AMS on “PAEXO Shoulder” by Ottobock.

Benchmarking wrs and educating wr experts
The COST Action (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) on Wearable Robots

This guest workshop in conjunction with EXO Berlin 2019 consists of two complementary sessions to discuss technical and societal aspects of WRs. The first, together with the EUROBENCH consortium, will discuss the guidelines on benchmarking WRs (from key enabling technologies, to testbeds and testing methods) as well as barriers to adoption and standardization processes. The second will discuss about the education of multi-disciplinary WR experts, the gaps and needs in the current education process. More

Human physiological adaptation to exoskeleton and power augmentation
Kyushu University

Exoskeletons have been designed to augment human movement and relieve physical stress, by providing external force of assistance. Though they involve such beneficial effects, humans still need to learn and adapt to the external assistance since the power augmentation is based on collaborative interaction between exoskeletons and humans. Thus, enhanced collaboration might be decided not only by mechanical factors of assistance, but also by physiological factors. We have mainly explored muscle activity and kinematics during short and long-term use of upper or lower limb assistance. Our general results indicate that various physiological regulations are required to achieve synergistic collaboration with the power assistance. We believe our findings would be applied for improving exoskeletons from a human-centered perspective.

Successful Implementation of Personal Assistive Exoskeleton

Industrial exoskeletons are increasingly finding adoption in industrial settings. The practitioners are increasingly concerned with day-to-day issues during implementation once acceptance and comfort issues are addressed and trials are performed successfully. The range for these issues ranges from simple questions like storage to more complex topics like maintenance. In the presentation Dr. Soenke ROESSING, Head of Industrials, will share insights about success factors for industrial exoskeleton implementation from over 2 years of continued operation of Paexo Shoulder in various industries worldwide. More details to come www.ottobock.com

Rehabilitation robotics: the Inail experience
National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (Inail) Central management of prosthetic assistance and rehabilitation

Innovation in orthopaedic rehabilitation is the focus of clinical research for the INAIL Rehabilitation Centre in Volterra, through partnerships with leading scientific Institutes in the field of robotic technology. Shoulder and hand post-traumatic conditions have been identified as the target of two different research projects, aimed at developing new robotic exoskeletons to assist and facilitate the functional phase of recovery. FLOAT is the first prototype developed in partnership with Italian Institute of Technology: an innovative hanging system allows the patient to stand, move and perform activities while wearing the exoskeleton. The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies likewise is collaborating to the HABILIS project, in the effort to design a wearable hand exoskeleton to address the needs of the post-traumatic hand. See more at www.inail.it

MATE - Design principles and validation
IUVO S. r. L.

The speech will start from an overview on the design principles as the starting point for the implementation of the MATE, a description of the device currently on the market, and will finish with an overview on the results of some validation tests performed on it. Read more www.comau.com

Restoration of Independence: A new approach using wearable, mechatronic systems to re-organize behaviour

Exo-skeletons and assistive devices have so far focused on a person’s disability and come up with innovative solutions to augment the physical or cognitive deficits. What is missing is a technology to identify the residual abilities still alive within the person, a methodology to leverage these abilities to restore function and independence (including relying less on assistive devices) and an insight into the neuroplastic changes that facilitated such a return to independence. This presentation describes the principles behind The SynPhNe (Synergistic Physio-Neuro platform) wearable technology and the SynPhNe Method of brain-muscle self-regulation. For the past two years, patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury, aging and learning related disability have used it to retrain how they perform everyday tasks and meet life demands.

SmartLeg: prototype development of a robotic above-knee prosthetic device
University of Sarajevo

After above-knee amputation, amputees usually go under intense rehabilitation process in order to overcome their disadvantage and successfully reintegrate in the society. Passive prostheses, which are mostly used by amputees, enable performing of various activities such as walking on levelled and inclined ground, and even running, riding a bicycle and as of lately swimming. However, performing high power demanding tasks, such as stair ascent, presents a problem because the lack of muscles makes it impossible to produce required forces. This means, that in order for the prosthesis to be able to perform high demanding power activities it must be powered, primarily in its main joints – knee and ankle. We are presenting hydraulic power system and control system for knee and ankle powered prosthesis which we are developing in order to achieve required kinematics and dynamics of the prosthesis which would enable it to perform high power demanding activities in more natural manner, especially stair ascent.

A novel bioinspired design and control for exosuits
Technical University Darmstadt

This work is based on the force-modulated compliant hip (FMCH) model which is developed based on virtual pivot point (VPP) concept describing human balance control. Based on this bioinspired method we showed that the ground reaction force (GRF) can be used for generating human-like muscle force. This GRF-based control could be used for human gait assistance. Implementation of this method on the LOPES II Exoskeleton showed advantages in metabolic cost reduction and muscle activation. Recently, we developed a soft wearable exosuit (in Lauflabor locomotion lab at TU Darmstadt), based on this concept. In this exosuit, we employed biarticular thigh (compliant) actuators to be controlled based on FMCH. The preliminary outcomes support the design and control hypothesis.

Lessons Learned from Testing Exoskeletons

This presentation gives an overview on the special needs for exoskeletons applicable in the aerospace industry. Further, the study shows an example of the development and testing history of one selected exoskeleton. The presentation concludes with a discussion on the potential and challenges of future exoskeletons.

Human-centred Workplaces. Modelling and Simulation of Advanced Factory Environments Integrating Intelligent and Adaptive Exoskeletons
Fraunhofer (IAO)

The employment of Exoskeleton in manufacturing represents an innovative technology for handling challenges such as decreasing the employment rate, manual handling of heavy parts and safety and security at workplace. The presentation mainly focuses on modelling methodology for coupling the active and passive Exoskeleton on standard digital humanoid. The current existing methodology could be used for further couplings of the not yet existing Exoskeletons. Before employing an Exoskeleton into the production environment, simulations of “as it is” and of “as it should be” states, need to be performed. The comparison between the simulation results will prove if there exists a real need for the Exoskeleton employment or the workplace should be improved. These simulations reveal the layout constrains, the benefits which the employment of the Exoskeleton brings, and the new ergonomics results for the human workers.

The Challenges of Making a Highly Ergonomic Exoskeleton
Mawashi Science & Technologie

As for cars and phones, exoskeletons will evolve following the advancement other technologies such as robotics, manufacturing processes and materials. Through that evolution the design will be optimized and benefits for the user will be improved. Among all the characteristics to be considered for the development of exoskeletons, ergonomics is crucial to achieve a good human/machine interface. Typically, the design orientation of an exoskeleton can be split into two equally relevant approaches, each having benefits and drawbacks depending on their application. The first one entails a low profile design, close to the body. This approach has the advantages of being potentially low bulk and lightweight. However, it comes with great ergonomics challenges because of the proximity with the body. The second approach involves the use of structures positioned further away from the user’s body. In that case, ergonomics can be achieved at the cost of heavier structures and higher bulkiness. Find more at www.mawashi.net

Exoskeletons: A reasonable supplement to automation
German Bionic

According to the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), musculoskeletal injuries, caused by strain lifting and carrying at work, account for 23 % of sick days in Germany, leading to an estimated annual 10 billion Euro loss in production. Active exoskeletons, like German Bionic´s CRAY X, were created in cooperation with leading work ergonomists specializing in manual hand lifting of goods and tools. Wearing those power suits while lifting heavy loads reduces compression pressure in the lower back area, thereby preventing workplace accidents and musculoskeletal injuries.

Exoskeletal devices in a rehabilitative environment and their challenges in the production of a hybrid intentionality
Universität Konstanz

To answer the needs of a motility deficient body may refer both to the scientific conception of a technological object conceived to assist the disabled person, for instance exoskeletal device, and its appropriation by the user. Intentionality is one of the parameters focused by engineers in this process. While using qualitative empirical material (engineers and motility experts discourses and narrative interviews with persons using or having used exoskeletons) and relying on the conceptual background of a recent theoretical paradigm, such as enactive phenomenology, it shall be shown what challenges exist while reconceiving motility intentionality in cases of spinal cord injury and cerebrovascular accidents. In a further step, it shall be focused how these challenges are addressed by designers of exoskeletal devices for this category of subjects. The aim is to confront the user’s subjective point of view with the point of view of specialists working in rehabilitative robotics.

Comau MATE: from workers, for workers

MATE, Comau Exoskeleton, is an ergonomically designed spring-based structure which eases the repetitive movements and relieves the effort, thanks to a lightweight, breathable and effective postural support. Find more at www.comau.com

Empowering human operators in I4.0: challenges, achievements and perspectives based on EURECA and. EFFORTLESS projects

In the context of the factory of the future scenario, a human-centric work-scene is the focus of such industrial revolution, requiring robotics to assist humans, even physically. In order to improve the ergonomics of tasks, together with productivity and flexibility of production, cooperative and wearable robotics is increasingly demanded. The proposed contribution aims at describe challenges, achievements and perspectives of human operators empowering in the context of Industry 4.0. The discussion is based on two on going projects: H2020 CleanSky 2 EURECA (empowering human operators in aerospace industry) and EFFORTLESS (empowering human operators in automotive industry) projects, describing the designed solutions in terms of both hardware and control and discussing about current TRL. A particular focus is made on human-robot interaction, analyzing different metrics for its evaluation, allowing to improve control performance.

Twin: a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Medical Use
Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Stroke, together with spinal cord injury (SCI), count up to 52% of the adult-onset disability. Enhancing the process of recovery of cognitive and motor functions after a neurological injury or disease is therefore widely recognized as a priority in healthcare. One of the opportunities in this direction lies in combining traditional approaches with robotic-based neurorehabilitation, thus improving the beneficial effects of the treatment. In this work, we present a novel exoskeleton device and propose its use in neurorehabilitation application scenarios.

Wearable Ergonomics - Using Wearable Sensors to Evaluate Exoskeletons in the Field

Work related injuries are a major problem in the USA and around the world. Back and shoulder injuries are especially problematic and costly. A number of exoskeletons have been developed to address these problems, but do they actually work, and what are the long term user implications? We have tested a number of exoskeletons with various wearable sensors and a standardized functional movement testing approach and would like to share our results.

Exoskeletons : Past, Present and Future

This talk focuses on the future of exoskeletons, from the vantage point of today while keeping in mind learnings from the past. As we live in a time where such devices will become mainstream, we will discuss needs of real users as well as the subjective nature of this challenge. The main issues while using an exoskeletons in a practical setting will also be discussed, followed by the best strategies to tackle them. There will also be a demonstration of the latest SkelEx prototype - a non powered upper body exoskeleton for working in the front or overhead. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to try the device at the end of the talk. This talk will be interesting for those who want to develop themselves in the field of exoskeletons, or for those who are enthusiastic about modern robotics and their applications.

Innovative Methodology for Efficient Control of Human-robot Systems
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Motor control is complicated for people with robotic devices (prostheses, orthoses, exosuits, and the like). We propose an innovative and generic methodology for efficient control design in various motion/posture tasks, incl. locomotion. As design criteria we take into consideration motion/posture stability, movement execution time, energy expenditure, and the principle of "assistance-as-needed". For posture stabilization we can design robust feedback controllers usng special design relations. We have developed also a control learning approach that optimizes the performance within a minimum number of test movements. The proposed approach has the necessary mathematical and computation guarantees for its feasibility and optimality.

Fatigue has a New Enemy
Levitate Technologies, Inc

The Levitate AIRFRAME™ is a wearable, lightweight technology engineered to improve upper extremity musculoskeletal health in professionals and skilled trade workers who engage in repetitive arm motion and/or static elevation of the arms. The AIRFRAME™ lowers exertion levels by up to 80% – keeping workers healthier and more productive, while mitigating healthcare and disability costs. Find more at www.levitatetech.com

Upper limb prosthesis: simple copy of the hand or real body augmentation
LLC Motorica

In modern digital world prosthetic devices has to be not only copy of hand (if we spear about functionality) but high-functional gadgets. Cyborgs (users of the high-tech prosthetics) has to have possability to make payments without cash with inbuild paypass-module; connect to any external electronic device and control it through gesture commands, make phone calls without cell phone and many many more! We will show our experience, how we transform disable people into Cyborgs. Find more at http://en.motorica.org/

Challenges and future perspectives in structural design for exoskeletons: A community outlook of research and industry
Project MARCH, Code Product Solutions

Giving back full mobility to people with a Spinal Cord Injury to fully participate in daily activities and contributing to the quality of life. That is what Project MARCH is about. In this advanced project, each year a new student team of Technical University Delft commits to the development of the ultimate exoskeleton. For two years, Project MARCH is collaborating with engineering firm Code Product Solutions. Together, the previous models were improved using Finite Element Analyses. This state-of-the-art predictive engineering methodology enables adjusting the design in an early development stage; it saves time and costs in the development process and leads to a higher quality product. And most importantly, by applying a Computer Aided Engineering-driven design, we were able to optimise the strength and weight of various highly complicated parts, which contributes to a very user-friendly exoskeleton. In short: Big steps towards full mobility.

Creating the working athletes of tomorrow
Bioservo Technologies

Bioservo is dedicated to becoming world-leading in developing wearable technology and improve quality of life for a lot of people. Bioservo recently launched Ironhand® - the world’s first soft robotic muscle strengthening system. Based on their patented SEM™ (Soft Extra Muscle) technology, their bionic glove strengthens the grip and supports lack of endurance to prevent strain injuries. A lightweight glove with a portable unit, where the wearer is in full control provides superior results – creating a sustainable workplace.

Increasing adoption of exoskeletons in the Manufacturing and Construction Industries
Bax & Company Consulting

This talk will focus on ways in which to both improve worker health and productivity in the manufacturing and construction industries through exoskeleton use. Additionally, through the implementation of field labs, users are able to investigate exoskeleton best practices and identify issues in order to make improvements for a new generation of exoskeletons.

BABYBE Emotional Prothesis for Prematures

BABYBE is softrobotic prothesis for premature infants that emulate the mothers chest like breathing, heartbeat and voice in critical care NICU situations.