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HUman EXoskEleton

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HUMEXE (HUman EXoskEleton)

Período documentado: 2018-10-01 hasta 2019-09-30

The objective of HUMEXE is to develop all the necessary stages to introduce in the market a new exoskeleton able to provide full autonomy to patients suffering from paraplegia and improving current exoskeletons available on market or at research stage. This new exoskeleton follows an entirely different approach for the movements control strategy. HUMEXE, as contrast to the rest of exoskeletons, bases the movement control of the lower limbs on the movement of the upper limbs of the individual, thus providing the user the full control of his movements, instead of being a control unit in control of the movements and their trajectories. This new approach will allow the user to control the lower limbs’ movements without the aid of crutches or the supervision of another person, and these movements will be performed more accurately than competitors’, thanks to the increase of freedom degrees of the exoskeleton (13, in contrast of a maximum of 10 and an average of 4 in other competitors). Besides it will reduce dramatically the computing requirements of the control unit, resulting in a simpler device, fail-safer and cheaper, easing the access to the exoskeleton to the general public.

During Phase 2 the tasks to be developed include the finalization of the marketable product, the validation of the product through clinical trials and obtaining of the required regulation approvals to enable the commercialization.

The project is being developed by Tecnimusa, a leading company on providing innovative engineering solutions to their clients who cannot find a satisfying one among the current solutions in the market. Tecnimusa is an engineering SME, based on Murcia (southeast of Spain) and founded in 2011. Its main line of business is the providing and development of solutions consisting on the combination of different technologies to perform accurately their objective.
During the first period, the work developed focused in the finalization of the prototypes to be used during the clinical trials, and the development of all the preparatory set-up steps in order to initiate the first clinical trials.
During the second period, the work developed focused in the first clinical trial, the adjustments on the prototypes during the different phases of the trial and the fulfillment of legal requirements for enabling the commercialization of the exoskeleton.
HUMEXE will proportionate paraplegia patients a level of autonomy not achieved so far and aims to democratize the use of exoskeletons by reducing its cost to a level affordable by private costumers.
The level of mobility gained by paraplegia patients is absolute; the social impact of HUMEXE is great, as these patients by using HUMEXE patients become completely independent, reducing to the minimum the requirements of caregivers. The job insertion of the patients is easier, as the barriers existing for disabled people on a wheelchair are overcome with the exoskeleton (architectural barriers, but also barriers of the activity required at a job position not suitable to be carried out on a wheelchair). Self-esteem of patients increases enormously when recovering their independence.
Patients also see their general health condition improved because of the increase in their physical activity with HUMEXE, which prevents them of secondary diseases associated to the lack of activity of the lower limbs. This has also an impact on the reduction of the costs associated to the treatment of paraplegia.
HUMEXE proposes to change the paradigm on the design of exoskeletons by reducing to the minimum the robotics and computing requirements involved in the exoskeleton operation.
PROTOTYPE OF HUMEXE