The input device

Gerard Baquer

Another important part of the exoskeleton is the design of the input device, which makes it possible for Ruben to control the exoskeleton safely

The idea is that the pilot controls the exoskeleton via the handle of the crutch. To keep balance during walking in the exoskeleton, the pilot uses crutches. By placing the input device in the crutch, the pilot is always able to control the exoskeleton in a safe way. On the picture the design of this handle is shown including the input device. On the handle two buttons are place, by which the exoskeleton can be put into a particular mode. Furthermore, you see a "big hole" in the model, which is meant for the screen. On this screen it can be seen very clearly from which actions the pilot can choose to execute, such as standing up, climbing a stairs or go down. This is important for the pilot to be sure which action he will let the exoskeleton perform. On the first movie you can see the two different buttons by which the pilot can control the exoskeleton. It is designed this way to guarantee extra safety. Furthermore, you can see on the movie all different actions the exoskeleton can execute. In the end, the Software & Control department is responsible for programming this actions, so that the pilot is actually able to execute them with the exoskeleton.

When the pilot executes a particular 'state' a signal will be sent to the master (the central computer of the exoskeleton), which will determine if the pilot is really able to execute the action. This can be seen in the second movie. This is done, since the master has all the information about the the joints, by which the master can determine very precisely if something is possible or not. In case something is wrong with the exoskeleton, you will see an error on the screen of the input device. This is also done because of safety reasons.


The two videos can be find via the following links: