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Apparatus capable of actuating a distal joint

constraint reactionsergonomicsExoskeletonpassive freedom degrees


The present invention finds application in the field of rehabilitation medicine and human enhancement in the industrial field. Exoskeletons are mechanical structures parallel to the arm, having multiple connection interfaces between human and robot: the greater number of interfaces allows to accurately determining the posture of the human limb based on the posture of the robotic one. The same applies to the torques found at human joints. One of the current challenges is represented the difficulty of obtaining the axes of the active robotic joints correctly aligned with those of the human body joints. In order to obviate to this problem in recent years soft wearable robotic devices have been introduced, i.e. characterised by flexible links, or entirely made of light, flexible materials such as fabrics of textile fibres or typical fibres of composite materials.

Technical features

The present invention provides an under-activated mechanism for a robotic shoulder exoskeleton suitable for transferring the flexion-extension reaction force generated during actuation of the shoulder joint through an actuator positioned at the shoulder joint of the flexion extension. The patent consists of a passive kinematic chain. Chain links are arranged between two consecutive robotic joints, whose axes coincide with the anatomical center of rotation of the operator.

Thanks to this industrial patent, the shoulder exoskeleton has a completely passive degree of abdo-adduction and therefore does not exert any type of binding reaction. Contrarily, it is able to correctly unload the constraint reaction, generated by the flexion-extension of the shoulder, onto the user’s bodice.

Possible Applications

  • Wearable robotics;
  • Rehabilitation;
  • Industrial applications.


  • Simple and not expensive;
  • Highly ergonomic;
  • Enhanced comfort for human-robot interfaces.