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Anthropomorphic robotic lower limb development

Grant number: 19/23749-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Bioengineering
Principal Investigator:Rafael Traldi Moura
Grantee:Paloma Rodrigues Rocha
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization, the elderly population is increasing, resulting in more people affected by disabilities. In the Brazilian scenario, where there is already a quarter of the population with some kind of disability and almost one-tenth of people with motor disabilities, it is crucial to invest in technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of this population. Assistive technologies such as wheelchairs already exist. However, even after years of optimization with technological advances, these solutions still have limitations. To overcome these limits, new initial conceptions should be used in projects with concepts of bioinspiration, bioengineering, and anthropomorphy. The application of these themes allows the development of exoskeletons and robotic limbs, which, although promising solutions, represent a major challenge. Two challenges in exoskeletons are the minimization of inertial mass (motor reducers) and the long design cycle since human testing is required. Relocating actuators to positions that provide more user comfort while allowing more biomimetic operation is essential, this can be accomplished by remote actuation with Bowden cables. In addition, to assist with the second challenge, a prosthesis can be used to validate the exoskeleton, such as that currently being produced at USP's Biomecatronic Laboratory. This will speed up the exoskeleton testing phase and provide more safety in human testing. Thus, this project aims to manufacture an anthropomorphic robotic lower limb, which can be adapted to be a prosthesis, and that uses concepts of bioinspiration, anthropomorphy and remote acting. (AU)

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