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Impacts of Enhanced Physical Abilities via Exoskeletons on Attentional Performance and Workload
SessionOE2 - Exoskeletons
DescriptionExoskeletons have great potential for reducing physical fatigue and work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Prior research investigating the effects of wearing an exoskeleton on the wearers’ cognitive performance suggested both potentially positive and negative impacts. However, the precise effects of wearing different types of exoskeletons on the individual’s various aspects of cognitive functions are under-studied. This study investigated the effects of wearing upper and lower-body unpowered exoskeletons on visual attentional performance while performing simulated industrial tasks, using an innovative augmented reality (AR)-based attentional visual field task. This study also compared physical task performance and self-reported mental workload while wearing an exoskeleton vs. not wearing an exoskeleton. While no universal change in cognitive performance with exoskeleton use was observed, the current study demonstrated large individual differences, which may have significant practical and theoretical implications.