Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review recent developments in exoskeletons and robotic prosthetics. Design/methodology/approach – This paper first describes a number of recently developed exoskeletons for military, civil and medical applications. It then discusses robotic prosthetics and concludes with a brief consideration of progress in brain‐computer interface (BCI) technology. Findings – Robotic exoskeletons are the topic of a major research effort, much being funded by the US military, and aims to impart superhuman strength to the wearer. Japanese research is also well advanced and concerns a range of non‐military applications, including strength enhancement and medical rehabilitation. Some products have recently been commercialised. There has also been significant progress in the development of robotic prosthetic limbs, a topic which is also attracting support from the US military. A key aim is the development of thought‐controlled prosthetics which will arise from advances in BCI technology. Originality/value – This paper provides a detailed review of the latest developments in exoskeletons and robotic prosthetics.
Industrial Robot: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2009
Keywords: Robotics; Prosthetic devices; Rehabilitation; Armed forces; Research and development
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