Oct 25, 2011

MSC Software's Adams Proves Integral to the Study of Lower Limb Exoskeletons

MSC Software Corporation, the leader in multidiscipline simulation solutions that accelerate product innovation, today announced that Adams and Lifemodeler, Inc.'s LifeMOD were the primary solutions used in a research study of lower limb exoskeletons conducted by the University of California, Santa Cruz's Bionics Lab. Adams played a major during the simulation of the human lower limb exoskeleton that greatly aided in the design of LEX, a 6-DOF lower limb exoskeleton developed by the university.

Lower limb exoskeletons are developed to increase human strength or to help people during their rehabilitation process. LEX has been developed over the last years as a research platform to experiment with ways to increase the efficiency of the gait cycle. In this research, a computer model of a walking person in a LEX was developed using recorded motion capture data and software products including Adams and LifeMOD. This model was compared to other gait cycle studies and it was found sufficient for use in further research.

Adams, along with add-on package LifeMod, was used to develop the model and perform the simulations. The exoskeleton model from SolidWorks was imported into the Adams mechanical dynamic simulation package where all the joints had to be properly defined and the inertia specified. Since LEX was designed for a 1.8m man, a human model of this size was selected from LifeMOD's extensive database of human models.

To create a walking person, the body segments were automatically created by LifeMOD according to the above mentioned specifications. A base set of joints was used, and motion agents were attached to the model which corresponded to the measured data markers. Out of one data recording of 15 seconds walking, a representative gait cycle was chosen. The model enabled the university to look at the average energy required at various gates with and without the exoskeleton device, as well as the energy consumption for ankle, knee, and hip joints.

It was concluded that the workable simulation model can be used for further research in the development and usage of lower limb exoskeletons.

The University of California, Santa Cruz is part of the prestigious University of California system and is home to 14,888 undergraduate and 1,444 graduate students. Headed by Lab Director and Associate Professor Jacob Rosen, the Bionics Lab's mission is to develop science, technology, and human resources at the interface between robotics, biological systems, and medicine. Their goal is to ultimately produce useful, innovative research and technology as well as trained researchers fluent in both science, engineering, biological systems, and robotics. For more information, please visit the University of California, Santa Cruz - Bionics Lab at http://bionics.soe.ucsc.edu.