Starting date: June the 3rd 2019
Duration: 20 months

 
Project category

OPTION 1: develop a benchmarking solution for one specific benchmarking scenario including one or more outcomes: testbed, software routines and/or experimental datasets.

 
Application

Wearable robots

 
Outcome

Test Bed, Sofware & Dataset

 
Team:

COORDINATOR:

  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)


Partner 2:

  • CEIT-IK4 (Spain)


Partner 3:

  • ALMA MATER STUDIORUM – Università di Bologna (Italy)

Abstract
A recent review of the current literature on the clinical effectiveness of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking shows that most training programs and clinical studies are based on walking on flat indoor surfaces while there is a lack of data regarding the use of exoskeleton in more complex tasks such as walking outdoors, navigating obstacles, climbing stairs, and performing activities of daily living (Miller et al. 2016). In this framework and considering that stairs are obstacles encountered frequently in daily living, the STEPbySTEP project will develop a modular and sensorized reconfigurable staircase testbed for lower-limb exoskeletons benchmarking. Specifically, the inclination of the staircase will be easily adjustable as well as, consequently, the height of the steps. Furthermore, the staircase will be provided at the upper end with a platform adjustable in height allowing for turning and with sensorized handrails at both sides for safety reasons. With regard to measurements, load cells for the handrails, two force platforms embedded in the stairs, a motion capture system, and a physiological-signal measurement system (e.g., heartrate and EDA measurement) will be integrated in the testbed. These measurements along with the EMG signals from the system available at the main facility, will be used to define and calculate performance metrics to evaluate the exoskeleton solutions. In addition, since benchmarking is usually based on performance indicators and/or effects on the user’s motor function there is a lack of understanding of the users’ experience and evaluation of bipedal locomotion for rehabilitation and assistive purposes. The STEPbySTEP approach will integrate measurements from the human factors’ perspective (i.e., trust, cognitive workload and usability) by introducing a new standard index.
 
The goal is to outline a benchmarking scheme in order to compare systems and define which one is most usable for the final user.