Virginia Tech researchers get award to study exoskeletons

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Researchers at Virginia Tech will use a $3 million award from the National Science Foundation to conduct research to develop whole-body powered exoskeletons to improve worker productivity and safety.

Exoskeletons are wearable devices that can augment the strength and endurance of the wearer by supporting body joints and providing assistive movements and joint torques.

Virginia Tech’s project aims to develop and evaluate new controls and human-machine interfaces for powered exoskeletons to increase productivity and lower injury risks.

The research is designed to help exoskeleton manufacturers and industry leaders determine appropriate job types, tasks, related costs and markets for exoskeleton suit investments.

The research will be conducted in partnership with Sarcos Robotics, a company with two decades of experience developing powered exoskeletons.

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