Soft modular biomimetic exoskeleton to assist people with mobility impairments
The XoSoft project will develop a modular soft lower-limb exoskeleton to assist people with mobility impairments. The consortium includes 5 research groups and 3 companies each with EU project experience in exoskeleton/assistive orthotics development.
XoSoft, a class I medical device, assists people with low to moderate levels of reduced mobility, enabling them to remain active performing tasks of daily living, which they would otherwise either refrain from doing or could not do. It can also be used in clinics by people with disabilities such as muscle weakness or partial loss of sensory functions. Being a modular system, it comprises an ankle, knee and hip which can be used individually or combined and used unilaterally or bilaterally.
XoSoft is revolutionary: Soft robotics sensors and actuators will be developed using existing basic science concepts and integrated with connected health functionality. It will be the first commercially orientated soft exoskeleton for the mainstream mobility assistance market.
XoSoft is a user-centered design achieved by involving primary, secondary and tertiary end-users throughout the project. It is easy and comfortable to wear, has a significant impact on the persons mobility and health, on their independence and quality of life.
Advanced textiles and smart materials will be developed to create sensing, variable stiffness joints and actuation using technologies such as electrorheological fluids, flexible tactile sensors based on polymeric films with carbon nanotubes and nanowires. Control is through biomimetics to identify the user’s motion and intention and to determine and provide the appropriate level of assistance. Connected health connectivity and analysis enable the wearer and their clinicians/therapists to review activity information. The concept is tested extensively in the lab, is subject to trials in clinical settings and home environments.
Fondazione Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia, IT
- accelopment AG, CH
- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, ES
- Geriatrie-Zentrum Erlangen, DE
- Össur hf, IS
- Roessingh Research and Development, NL
- Saxion University of Applied Science, NL
- University of Limerick, IE
- Zurich University of Applied Sciences, CH