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Spinal Exoskeletal Robot for Low Back Pain Prevention and Vocational Reintegration

Objective

Low-back pain is the leading cause of worker absenteeism after the common cold, accounting for 15% of sick leaves and hundreds of millions of lost work days annually [Walking 2.0 Nature, 2015].

Most of today's robotic assistive devices are in forms of exoskeletons that augment the motion of legs and arms and neglect the role of spinal column in transferring load from the upper body and arms to the legs. In SPEXOR we will fill this gap and design a novel and revolutionary spinal exoskeleton to prevent low-back pain in able bodied workers and to support workers with low-back pain in vocational rehabilitation.

The concept to realize the objectives of SPEXOR is driven by several interdisciplinary ideas that push current understanding of low-back pain intervention through several innovative research and technological stages. First, robot-centred requirements for low-back pain prevention are determined and a musculoskeletal stress monitoring system is developed to unobtrusively measure the associated key variables. Then, optimal design parameters and sensorimotor strategies are provided with respect to the robot-centred requirements and their associated key variables. Based on these aspects, a spinal exoskeleton mechanism and its actuation is developed and adaptive control architecture is employed. Such research and development cycle is enclosed by multi-phase end-user evaluation, usability and satisfaction studies.

The project builds upon the partner's extensive experience with work ergonomics, modelling and optimization of human movement, design, control and evaluation of exoskeletons. Several beyond-the-state-of-art scientific approaches and technologies will be employed through a colourful mixture of research, industrial, SME and end-user partners of the consortium.

Ultimately, the results of SPEXOR will have a significant impact well beyond the current scientific understanding and technological capabilities of assistive robots used in daily life and health care.

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2015
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Coordinator

INSTITUT JOZEF STEFAN
Address
Jamova 39
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 570 250

Participants (7)

RUPRECHT-KARLS-UNIVERSITAET HEIDELBERG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 677 625
Address
Seminarstrasse 2
69117 Heidelberg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 650 525
Address
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
STICHTING VU
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 667 375
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
OTTOBOCK SE & CO. KGAA
Germany
EU contribution
€ 521 250
Address
Max-nader-strasse 15
37115 Duderstadt
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
OTTO BOCK HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS GMBH
Austria
EU contribution
€ 311 250
Address
Brehmstrasse 16
1110 Wien
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
S2P DOO
Slovenia
EU contribution
€ 301 375
Address
Tehnoloski Park 19
1000 Ljubljana
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
STICHTING HELIOMARE
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 289 375
Address
Relweg 51
1949 EC Wijk Aan Zee
Activity type
Other