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EMBC Workshop on Best Practices for Designing Robotic Exoskeletons

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  • EMBC Workshop on Best Practices for Designing Robotic Exoskeletons

    EMBC Full Day Workshop (Monday, July 15th, 8:30 am-5:30 pm,

    Title: Best Practices for Designing New Exoskeletons and Exosuits
    Summary: Despite an increasing number of exoskeletons and exosuits being developed around the world, there is a lack of information and consensus on best practices for the engineering design process for these wearable technologies. There is a plethora of publications describing specific devices and testing of the devices, but a dearth of publications on how to design the devices. We will bring together experts on exoskeletons and exosuits to discuss their experiences designing wearable technology for assisting human movement. The overall goal is to highlight, document, and rate the best engineering practices for developing exoskeletons and exosuits given principles of engineering and current understanding of human biomechanics and control. The discussion and debate will include preparation of a review manuscript for submission to an EMBC journal.
    Rationale: There has been a large focus over the last 20 years on new exoskeletons and exosuits for assisting human movement, but there does not exist any literature outlining the best practices for designing and building exoskeletons and exosuits. There has been a push by ASTM International and others to generate consensus standards for exoskeleton and exosuit “safety, quality, performance, ergonomics and terminology for systems and components during the full life cycle of the product – from before usage, to maintenance, to disposal – including, security and information technology considerations” ( This workshop will bring together experts to address the missing information on device design and build consensus for a review paper in an EMBC journal for broad dissemination of the workshop findings.

    Workshop Schedule:
    8:30 am History of Exoskeletons and Introduction to Workshop
    Daniel Ferris, University of Florida (
    9:30 am Questions and Discussion
    9:45 am Leveraging Human Biomechanics Data to Guide Optimal Design of Lower-Limb Wearable Robots
    Greg Sawicki, Georgia Institute of Technology (
    10:15 am Questions and Discussion
    10:30 am Best Practices for Designing Robotic Exoskeletons
    Nicole Esposito, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (
    11:00 am Questions and Discussion
    11:15 am Mechanical Phantoms to Evaluate Exoskeletons
    W. Sebastian Barrutia, University of Florida (
    11:45 am Questions and Discussion
    12:00 noon Audience Questions and Comments on Workshop Outside of Scope of Morning Talks
    Moderated by He (Helen) Huang, North Carolina State U./U. of North Carolina (
    12:30 noon LUNCH
    1:30 pm Role of Computer Simulations to Optimize Exoskeleton Engineering
    Raziel Riemer, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (
    2:00 pm Questions and Discussion
    2:15 pm Want to succeed in exoskeleton design? Fail faster
    Steve Collins, Stanford University (
    2:45 pm Questions and Discussion
    3:00 pm Harnessing Human Neuromotor Learning in Exoskeleton Design
    Meghan Huber, University of Massachusetts Amherst (
    3:30 pm Questions and Discussion
    Moderated by He (Helen) Huang, North Carolina State U./U. of North Carolina (
    4:15 pm Split into groups lead by 6 speakers to create outline of manuscript on exoskeleton best practices. Audience joins whichever group they want.
    5:15 pm Workgroups come together for closure on outline drafts. Follow-up by email will occur on drafting full manuscript to be submitted to IEEE TNSRE