Defense: The Design, Construction, and Evaluation of CRUX: A Tensegrity-Inspired Compliant Robotic Upper-Extremity Exosuit

Speaker Name: 
Steven Lessard
Speaker Title: 
PhD Candidate (Advisor: Mircea Teodorescu)
Speaker Organization: 
Computer Engineering
Start Time: 
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 3:00pm
End Time: 
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 5:30pm
Location: 
E2-215
Organizer: 
Mircea Teodorescu

Abstract: Stroke is a disease that directly affects millions of people each year globally. Stroke therapy is challenging; survivors of the disease often must complete challenging exercises in the hopes of regaining some of their lost mobility and flexibility. Due to the limitations of visiting expert physical therapists and completing impactful rehabilitation outside of their therapist’s office, this rehabilitation infrequently completely resotres a survivor’s quality of life to what it was pre-stroke. One potential solution to this issue is an augmentative exosuit. Exosuits, unlike other traditional exoskeletons, are primarily composed of soft materials and feature flexibility and compliance at a structural level. In this thesis, we describe the inspiration, research, design, implementation, and user testing of one such exosuit for the upper-extremities, CRUX. This exosuit exemplifies the paradigms of tensegrity robotics through its use of a n! ovel hybrid soft- rigid structure to augment the upper-extremities of those who wear it. The design of CRUX emphasizes a harmonious human-robot interface that augments users sufficiently for potential applications in Graded Motor Imagery and mirror therapy. As a result, CRUX may be able to assist physical therapists in providing stroke survivors and other people with upper-extremity impairment with better rehabilitation.