IEEE ICMA 2014 Conference
Plenary Talk I
New Developments for Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Systems at
the University of California, Berkeley
Homayoon Kazerooni, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Mechanical Engineering Department
Director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley
Our objective at Berkeley is to create a set of advanced technologies that form the framework for developing accessible exoskeleton systems for people with mobility disorders. Our research work is not about creating “walking” capability only; it is about fostering “independence”. In addition to walking, there are many maneuvers a person with limited mobility needs to carry out for independence at home and work during a day. For widespread use, exoskeletons must be accessible. The medical wearable robotic exoskeletons allow people with paraplegia or other mobility disorders to be upright and mobile, preventing secondary diseases and enhancing their quality of life. These systems will be used for in-home care and everyday use, as well as within hospitals and rehabilitation centers. The industrial wearable robotic systems minimize spinal compression forces of workers who repeat various maneuvers on the job. These devices will be used in auto assembly plants, factories, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, and delivery services. These systems decrease the severity and number of work-related injuries, while enhancing worker safety. The quest to develop accessible exoskeleton orthotic systems suggests less hardware while placing more emphasis on the intelligence and cleverness during both the design stage and the device operation. This talk will describe new engineering developments to realize accessible exoskeleton systems.
Dr. Kazerooni is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory. The laboratory’s mission is to develop fundamental scientific and engineering principles on robotics, control sciences, exoskeletons, and bioengineering. Dr. Kazerooni is also the founder of Ekso Bionics. Most of the developed technologies in this lab have found their ways to market. Prior to his research work on lower extremity exoskeletons, Dr. Kazerooni led his team to successfully develop robotics systems that enhance human upper extremity strength. The results of this work led to a new class of intelligent assist devices currently being used by workers worldwide for manipulating heavy objects in distribution centers and factories. Dr. Kazerooni holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and has published more than two hundred articles, delivered over 100 plenary lectures in the U.S. and internationally, and holds numerous pertinent patents and awards. As a noted authority on robotics, he is frequently profiled and quoted in the media.
More information can be obtained in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homayoon_Kazerooni