Design of Wearable Power-Assist Device for Lower Back Support
Keitaro Naruse*, Satoshi Kawai**, Hiroshi Yokoi***,
and Yukinori Kakazu****
*The School of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Aizu, Tsuruga, Ikki-machi, Aizu-Wakamatsu 965-8580, Japan
**Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita-13 Nishi-8, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
***Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
****Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University, Kita-14 Nishi-9, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
In this paper, we propose a mechanical device for supporting the lower back, which is often injured due to carrying heavy loads because of the large compression applied to the lower back that may injure spinal discs. We develop a power-assist device for supporting one degree of freedom (DOF), which is flexion and extension of the lower back, for reducing compression and assisting lifting. We evaluate the effect of the device in experiments that verify that the proposed power-assist device effectively protects against lumbago.
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