Second Spine

Second Spine

These researchers created second spine, an upper body assistive device for human load carriage. They wanted to reduce musculoskeletal injuries caused due to carrying heavy loads. What they designed was a wearable upper body device that can prevent musculoskeletal injuries during human load carriage by providing a secondary load pathway to transfer the loads from shoulders to pelvis while also allowing a good range of torso motion to the wearer. Loads were transferred through segmented columns between the shoulder support and hip belt. The design had had two primary considerations: load distribution between shoulders and pelvis, and preserving the range of torso motion. A further iteration compensates for inertial forces by real-time sensing of human motion and actuation of the motors in a way that the backpack motion is kept nearly inertially fixed.

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