This project has helped to advance wearable robotics by demonstrating that personalised computational models of the human body can effectively be used to control wearable exoskeletons. This new technology promises to be of great impact for the next generation of mobility therapies. The BIOMOT project, funded under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, was completed in September 2016.

Wearable robots are programmable body-worn devices, or exoskeletons, that are designed to mechanically interact with the user. Their purpose is to assist or even substitute human motor function for people who have severe difficulty moving or walking.

However, a number of factors have limited the widespread market adoption of wearable robots. Moreno and his team identified a need for wearable equipment to be more compact and lightweight, and better able anticipate and detect the intended movements of the wearer. In addition, robots needed to become more versatile and adaptable in order to aid people in a variety of different situations; walking on uneven ground, for example, or approaching an obstacle.

To address these challenges, the project developed robots with real-time adaptability and flexibility by increasing the symbiosis between the robot and the user through dynamic sensorimotor interactions. A hierarchical approach to these interactions was taken, allowing the project team to apply different layers for different purposes. This means in effect that an exoskeleton can be personalised to an individual user.

Video on the results of the project

For more information, please consult the Cordis website.

Symbiotic Wearable Robots - BioMot Project from NRG-CSIC on Vimeo.