· Contributors · Organizations ·
Gait Kinematics When Learning to Use a Whole-Body Powered Exoskeleton
DescriptionWhile there is growing interest in exoskeletons, understanding how users learn, trust, and adapt to exoskeleton systems is not yet well established. To help facilitate the safe and effective implementation of whole-body powered exoskeletons (WB-PEXOs), a preliminary investigation was completed to understand the learnability of a WB-PEXO over time in the context of level walking. Six novices and five experts completed the study. Spatiotemporal gait measures (step time and length, stride time and length) and joint angles (hip and knee) of the novices from three successive learning sessions were compared to the corresponding measures obtained from the experts. The most substantial differences between novices and experts occurred in step/stride length and peak hip extension. These differences decreased with repeated sessions, and there were no significant differences by the end of the final session. These results are a step towards exploring parameters that reflect learning, and learnability, in WB-PEXO operation.