Reducing the metabolic rate of walking and running with a versatile, portable exosuit

Jinsoo Kim, Giuk Lee, Roman Heimgartner, Dheepak Arumukhom Revi, Nikos Karavas, Danielle Nathanson, Ignacio Galiana, Asa Eckert-Erdheim, Patrick Murphy, David Perry, Nicolas Menard, Dabin Kim Choe, Philippe Malcolm, Conor J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Walking and running have fundamentally different biomechanics, which makes developing devices that assist both gaits challenging. We show that a portable exosuit that assists hip extension can reduce the metabolic rate of treadmill walking at 1.5 meters per second by 9.3% and that of running at 2.5 meters per second by 4.0% compared with locomotion without the exosuit. These reduction magnitudes are comparable to the effects of taking off 7.4 and 5.7 kilograms during walking and running, respectively, and are in a range that has shown meaningful athletic performance changes. The exosuit automatically switches between actuation profiles for both gaits, on the basis of estimated potential energy fluctuations of the wearer’s center of mass. Single-participant experiments show that it is possible to reduce metabolic rates of different running speeds and uphill walking, further demonstrating the exosuit’s versatility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-672
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume365
Issue number6454
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Kim, J., Lee, G., Heimgartner, R., Revi, D. A., Karavas, N., Nathanson, D., Galiana, I., Eckert-Erdheim, A., Murphy, P., Perry, D., Menard, N., Choe, D. K., Malcolm, P., & Walsh, C. J. (2019). Reducing the metabolic rate of walking and running with a versatile, portable exosuit. Science, 365(6454), 668-672. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aav7536