Progress and Results

29.03.2019 Demonstration of the E-Joint at Vesthimmerlands Kommune

Obtaining feedback from our partners is important to steer the project in the right direction. We had the pleasure of demonstrating the technology of Exo-Aider at Vesthimmerlands Kommune. Here participants had the opportunity to wear the exoskeleton and perform a sit-to-stand motion with assistance. We would like to thank the participants for their feedback on how we could improve the control schemes and ergonomics of the system. 

The demonstration brought joy to both the participants and us as we got to test the robustness of our system, while enjoying the smiles on the faces of the participants, as they experienced the sensation of actively assisted exoskeleton.

:Courtesy of Vesthimmerlands Kommune 

05.03.2019 sEMG Testing

The Exo-Aider project uses sEMG technology to detect the intention of the movement of the user. 

Machine learning based on SVM is used to train the system. One particulartiy is that the training has been performed with one subject and the testing has been performed with another one, which has lead to satisfying accuracy results. 

 

 

14.02.2019 Testing at Wolturnus

The exoskeleton system has been tested with Christian, Shaoping, Raza, and Dinh-Son at Wolturnus. 

In an AGILE workflow, customers' specification are a priority to quickly adapt the direction of the project. 

21.01.2019 Cuff Design

The cuffs are the mechanical part that are directly in contact with the user. They are thus of utmost importance in the overall system. The materials can be based on 3D printing technology for rapid prototyping, but the project aims at using carbon fiber based or kevlar solution (as shown in the picture below). The use of laminate material allows to modify the stiffness of the cuff in the longitudinal and transversal direction to meet a compromise between the torque transfer from the exoskeleton to the user and compliance of the system. 

   

The mold (left) and the cuff in kevlar (right)

15.01.2019 sEMG and exoskeleton testing

One of the challenge of active exoskeleton technology is to control the actuator depending on the user's intention. The use of surface electromyograph, or sEMG, signal allows to infer the user's intention during a sit-to-stand motion. 

The exoskeleton and the sEMG armband has shown positive results in the detection and the assistance of the motion. 

23.10.2018 Torque testing of the drive unit

The initial testing of the joint unit of the elbow joint developed in the project Exo-Aider shows promising results. 

Indeed, the total mass of the joint unit is 600gr. However, it can develop up to 50Nm, which corresponds to carry a mass of approximately 10kg in the hand. 

 

 

 

09.10.2018 Design update of the actuator unit

One of the challenges of the Exo-Aider project is the implementation of a powerful actuator in an upper-limb exoskeleton. Indeed, the weight of the lower-limb exoskeletons are supported by the ground and not by the user, however portable upper-limb exoskeletons are usually worn by a user, which has to bear its weight. The actuator must remain lightweight, while provinding high output torque capabilities since the project deals with bodyweight lifting for wheelchair users. 

One target of the project is the development of compact actuators that would fit the requirement of the task. After rearranging the structure of the custom-made actuator, the version 2.1 of the joint unit is more compact, more lightweight than its previous 1.0 version, with the same power output. 

   

Joint unit 1.0 (left - 1kg) and 2.1 (right - 0.6kg)

01.08.2018 Health and Rehabilitation Scandinavia

Exo-Aider, with the department of biomechanics, has participated to the Health and Rehabilitation Scandinavia. 

Sharing ideas with experts in the healthcare domain benefits the growth in this research area. 

From left to right, Michael Skipper Andersen, John Rasmussen, Dinh-Son Vu, and Shaoping Bai. 

14.08.2017 First Elbow Joint prototype

The first prototype of the Exo-aider project consists of an Elbow joint to assist the triceps extension during the sit-to-stand motion. Further works would include the reduction in size of the actuator. 

 

            

24.04.2017 Kick Off Meeting of the Exo-Aider Project

Participants from partners and Innovation Fund Denmark's investment manager came to the meeting. The project strategy and work plan, and objectives were discussed. AAU demoed the upper-body exoskeletons developed in previous national and EU projects.

The kickoff meeting took place in AAU-MK with the entire consortium, namely:

  • AAU-MK: Aalborg University, Materials and Production
  • AAU-ES: Aalborg University, Electronic Systems
  • Innovationsfund
  • Wolturnus
  • Autonomous Fundation
  • Vesthimmerland Kommune
  • Ningbo University