XoSoft: Soft modular biomimetic exoskeleton to assist people with mobility impairments.
XoSoft is a soft, modular, lower limb exoskeleton that elderly and disabled people can wear to assist their leg strength and support. The aim of this multidisciplinary research and innovation action is to develop this innovative soft exoskeleton for the lower limbs to provide low to moderate assistance in walking. XoSoft will help increase mobility and improve health and quality of life of people with walking impairments.
Between 2000 and 2050, the older population (80+) projected to almost quadruple from approximately 100 million to 395 million people worldwide. Many elderly and patient groups experience varying degrees of mobility impairment. Assistive devices play a pivotal role in their lives and impact on their ability to live independently and perform basic tasks of daily living. For XoSoft soft robotics sensors and actuators will be developed using existing basis science concepts and integrated with connected health functionality. Advanced textiles and smart materials will be used to create sensing, variable stiffness joints and actuation using technologies such as electro rheological 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/therapist to review activity information. The concept is tested extensively in the lab, is subject to trials in clinical settings and home environments.