Linking the mechanics and energetics of hopping with elastic ankle exoskeletons

Farris, Dominic James and Sawicki, Gregory S. (2012) Linking the mechanics and energetics of hopping with elastic ankle exoskeletons. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113 12: 1862-1872. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00802.2012

Author Farris, Dominic James
Sawicki, Gregory S.
Title Linking the mechanics and energetics of hopping with elastic ankle exoskeletons
Journal name Journal of Applied Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 8750-7587
Publication date 2012-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/japplphysiol.00802.2012
Volume 113
Issue 12
Start page 1862
End page 1872
Total pages 11
Place of publication Bethesda, MD, United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The springlike mechanics of the human leg during bouncing gaits has inspired the design of passive assistive devices that use springs to aid locomotion. The purpose of this study was to test whether a passive spring-loaded ankle exoskeleton could reduce the mechanical and energetic demands of bilateral hopping on the musculoskeletal system. Joint level kinematics and kinetics were collected with electromyographic and metabolic energy consumption data for seven participants hopping at four frequencies (2.2, 2.5, 2.8, and 3.2 Hz). Hopping was performed without an exoskeleton; with an springless exoskeleton; and with a spring-loaded exoskeleton. Spring-loaded ankle exoskeletons reduced plantar flexor muscle activity and the biological contribution to ankle joint moment (15–25%) and average positive power (20–40%). They also facilitated reductions in metabolic power (15–20%) across frequencies from 2.2 to 2.8 Hz compared with hopping with a springless exoskeleton. Reductions in metabolic power compared with hopping with no exoskeleton were restricted to hopping at 2.5 Hz only (12%). These results highlighted the importance of reducing the rate of muscular force production and work to achieve metabolic reductions. They also highlighted the importance of assisting muscles acting at the knee joint. Exoskeleton designs may need to be tuned to optimize exoskeleton mass, spring stiffness, and spring slack length to achieve greater metabolic reductions.
Keyword Metabolic power
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
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