This article aims to provide details of recent robotic exoskeleton developments and applications.
Following an introduction, this article first considers some of the technological issues associated with an exoskeleton design. It then discusses military developments, industrial load-carrying applications and uses in healthcare. Progress in thought-controlled exoskeletons is discussed briefly, and finally, concluding comments are drawn.
This article shows that, while military interests continue, the dominant application is to restore or enhance mobility to individuals suffering from disabilities or injuries. An emerging use is to increase the strength and endurance of industrial workers. The majority are lower-limb devices, although some full-body exoskeletons have been developed, and most rely on battery-powered electric motors to create motion. Reflecting the anticipated growth in applications, exoskeletons are now available from, or under development by, a growing number of commercial organisations.
This provides an insight into the latest developments in robotic exoskeletons and their applications.
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