BioE PhD Defense Presentation- Pawel Golyski
Gregory S. Sawicki, Ph.D.
T. Richard Nichols, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Lena H. Ting, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University)
Young-Hui Chang, Ph.D. (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Keith E. Gordon, Ph.D. (Northwestern University)
Tuning biomechanical energetics with an exoskeleton to improve stability during walking
Exoskeletons are promising tools to improve multiple aspects of our daily lives – they can increase our strength, improve our efficiency during walking and running, and lower our risk of injury during tasks such as lifting. Further, passive exoskeletons with elastic elements can be lighter and cheaper than their motor-driven counterparts, while also being able to assist us by modulating the mechanics of muscles and biological joints. However, one critical aspect of locomotion which we do not understand the influence of passive exoskeletons on is stability. This overall project addresses the interaction between the areas of locomotion stability, muscle mechanics, and passive exoskeleton assistance through the lens of mechanical energetics with two principal aims: 1) to determine the multi-scale response to transient mechanical energy demands of proximal joints and muscles, and 2) to evaluate the influence of a passive hip exoskeleton on stability during perturbed walking. By addressing these aims, this work provides valuable initial insights into the role of proximal joints and muscles in responding to perturbations during walking in humans and establishes the potential of passive exoskeletons for improving stability in daily life.