The overall aim of this multidisciplinary research and innovation action is to develop a soft, modular, lower limb exoskeleton that people with muscle weakness and/or a partial loss of sensory or motor function can wear to assist their leg strength and support, to increase their mobility and thereby improve their health and quality of life. XoSoft will employ smart soft robotics, biomimetic controlled actuation and connected health data feedback and interface. XoSoft will be:
- A highly customisable modular system, comprising an ankle-foot-knee module which can be worn on one or on both sides and a hip module.
- Easy to wear, comfortable, serviceable and compatible with the daily life of the users.
- Developing advanced textiles and smart materials to create sensing, variable stiffness joints and actuation, using technologies such as electro rheological fluids, and flexible tactile sensors based on polymeric films with carbon nanotubes and nanowires.
- Controlled through biomimetics to identify the user’s motion and intention and to determine and provide the appropriate level of assistance.
- Equipped with integrated health connectivity and analysis features to enable the wearer and their clinicians/therapists to review activity information and to register deterioration of the conditions at an early stage.
- Developed with a user-centered design approach: following extensive testing in the lab, the concept is subject to trials in clinical settings and home environments.