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Flexible Sensor-Based Biomechanical Evaluation of Passive Low-Back Exoskeleton Use in Lifting
SessionOE2 - Exoskeletons
DescriptionThis paper describes an effort to develop and evaluate a flexible sensor-based system for ambulatory biomechanical evaluation of exoskeletons. We used this system together with a conventional optical motion capture system to examine the effects of a passive low-back exoskeleton on lumbar joint kinematics and L5S1 moments during symmetric lifting. The two systems generated highly correlated estimates of lumbar flexion angle and L5S1 flexion moment: mean RMSEs (correlation coefficient, r) were 6.79° (0.958) and 18.32 Nm (0.955), respectively. The flexible sensor-based system was able to discern the effects of wearing the exoskeleton: increased lumbar flexion angle but decreased lumbar flexion moment. The results confirmed some benefits of passive back exoskeletons and endorsed the potential of flexible sensor-based system for field studies of human-exoskeleton interactions.