Researchers at Queen’s University have created an exoskeleton to improve walking and standing efficiency
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The backpack prototype replaces energy-consuming actions at a specific stage of the gait cycle to reduce The metabolic cost of walking. The researchers pointed out that unlike existing exoskeleton technologies, these technologies either increase energy or transfer energy from one stage of the gait cycle to another. The new device helps users by directly removing the energy needed to walk. Energy helps the knee muscles at a critical moment of the gait cycle, the terminal swing phase.
This technology does not bring too much burden to walkers, because it weighs just over half a kilogram. Researchers believe that it will enable hikers to walk longer distances or help people who often stand, such as paramedics and others, feel less tired after long hours of work. While assisting the user, the exoskeleton can also convert the removed energy into electricity, which is used to power the control system of the device and other portable devices.
Its energy harvesting ability can be proved It is especially useful for those who walk long distances away from traditional power sources, such as hikers, or even soldiers on the battlefield. Creating an exoskeleton involves an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on walking biomechanics, physiology, human-computer interaction, and design innovation. Most of the research work on this device is carried out at the Human Mobility Research Center, which is a facility at the Queens/Kingston Health Science Center, equipped with what the team calls world-class gait analysis technology.