Wearable robotic exoskeletons to be developed

Posted on 5 Oct 2017 by Jonny Williamson

IUVO, spin-off company of The BioRobotics Institute (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) in the field of wearable technologies, has received a joint investment to create intelligent robotic exoskeletons for better quality of life.

Wearable robotic exoskeletons to be developed  - image courtesy of Comau
Objective of IUVO is the design, development and experimental validation of a cognitive wearable robot for functional assistance of lower-limb motion – image courtesy of Comau

The project IUVO has received the investment for developing the robotic exoskeletons from automation provider, Comau, and orthopedics equipment manufacturer Össur.

A fundamental aspect of the venture is the joint desire to progress and evolve human-machine collaboration within diverse sectors, including biomedical, manufacturing and consumer.

The first concrete examples are robotic exoskeletons capable of aiding and improving the quality of life for workers in industrial and service fields and for patients in need of improved mobility.

IUVO was founded in 2015 by a team of post-doctorates, professors and researchers with the objective to exploit the achievements of national and European research projects, such as the FP7 ICT CYBERLEGs.

The companies Comau and Össur hold a majority share of IUVO, and in the joint venture, Comau is a majority holder.

As a worldwide leader in advanced automation solutions, Comau brings its vision, propensity toward innovative, open and easy-to-use technologies, and its ability to produce reliable robots.

Össur is renowned for delivering advanced and scientifically-proven solutions in non-invasive orthopedics that improve human mobility.

IUVO’s engineering competence in the field of wearable technologies is furthermore complemented with the prestige and experience of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

With headquarters inside the Comau HUMANufacturing Innovation Center in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy, and a group of engineers and researches, IUVO is leveraging the shared competencies of the extended team to develop and commercialize wearable technologies.

HUMANufacturing is Comau’s path toward open, easy-to-use industrial automation whereby humans and robots collaborate seamlessly without barriers.

Mauro Fenzi, CEO of Comau, said: “This joint venture represents a key step toward the creation of wearable robotic exoskeletons that can enhance human mobility and quality of life.

“By uniting the know-how and enabling technologies of the various partners, we are in a unique position to extend the use of robotics beyond manufacturing and toward a truly progressive global reality.

“I believe the differentiating factor of a project like IUVO is the combination of Comau’s automation skills and Össur’s extensive experience in bionics and bracing to enable the production of products, such as the exoskeletons, and to be able to demonstrate the benefits of robotics”.