Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


HUMEXE Report Summary

Project ID: 692811

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HUMEXE (HUman EXoskEleton for autonomous movement control)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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.
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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During Phase 1 the task developed consisted on the deep study of the geographic markets where HUMEXE will be introduced. The market volume in the different countries has been determined, the health system and the affecting regulation in these countries have been studied and the key stakeholders of each country have been identified.
With these data a detailed plan to sequence the entry in the different markets has been set in place and the different business models have been evaluated in order to maximize the profitability of the project.
During this phase, the work plan for the next years has been studied, including the further development phase until the first sell (for its development it is foreseen to apply to Phase 2 of SME Instrument) and the first three years of commercialization of HUMEXE.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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 effect 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.

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