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AI-powered exoskeleton helps restore mobility immediately

Jun. 14, 2024.
1 min. read 1 Interactions

No user training needed

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Amara Angelica

198.01421 MPXR

Electronics engineer and inventor

Rendering of exoskeleton (credit: New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Researchers have used AI and computer simulations to train robotic exoskeletons, which can help users save energy while walking, running, and climbing stairs.

As described in the journal Nature, the novel method customizes exoskeleton controllers to assist locomotion for elderly or stroke survivors without relying on lengthy human-involved experiments in a clinic.

“It can also apply to knee or ankle exoskeletons or other multi-joint exoskeletons,” said Xianlian Zhou, associate professor and director at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s BioDynamics Lab, in a statement. “It can be used in above-the-knee or below-the-knee prostheses, providing immediate benefits for millions of able-bodied and mobility-impaired individuals.”

No user training

Previously, patients had to spend hours “training” an exoskeleton so the technology knew how much force was needed (and where and when to apply it). The new method allows someone to use the exoskeleton immediately. The closed-loop simulation incorporates exoskeleton controller and physics models of musculoskeletal dynamics, human-robot interaction, and muscle reactions.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Citation: Luo, S., Jiang, M., Zhang, S., Zhu, J., Yu, S., Dominguez Silva, I., Wang, T., Rouse, E., Zhou, B., Yuk, H., Zhou, X., & Su, H. (2024). Experiment-free exoskeleton assistance via learning in simulation. Nature, 630(8016), 353-359. 10.1038/s41586-024-07382-4

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