Lorenzo Masia

Soft Exosuit for Industrial Applications


Figure 1. Overview of Soft Exosuit – Industrial Version.

The main objective of the development of soft Exosuit for industrial applications is to overcome the aforementioned technological limitations, to design and develop the next-generation of augmenting devices for workers, merging the expertise in mechatronics and smart wearable garments. This will be achieved by employing an unconventional approach by external frames made of fabric and elastic tendons to assist the wearer moving the shoulder, the elbow, and the hand. Such low-profile, lightweight and ergonomic systems are suitable for daily use, revolutionizing the working environments and improving safety.

We are focusing our effort on the upper limb by using our expertise on assistive technology for rehabilitation and refining our designs matching the specifications requested by the industrial partner. More specifically we will design a completely new transmission system, reliable, powerful and robust, to provide support to workers with a new instrument which is able to release them from heavy duty. As shown in Figure 2, soft Exosuit can be used in industrial places.


Figure 2. Lifting Task in an Industrial Place.

This new device is conceived to provide augmentation to both proximal and distal arm, specifically shoulder/elbow and hand and assist workers in lifting a heavy object and carrying them with more endurance. We are considering different technological aspects, in particular, the optimization of the ergonomics by complementing the use of garments and textiles with semi-rigid components, to lock the actuation and the electronics and at the same time to provide freedom of movement. We will explore a design by using different materials to embed the compliant actuation/transmission at the level of the production process, with the purpose to provide support and compliance to the human biomechanics and host cable driven elements to assist limbs motion. This approach will allow delegating a double action of intrinsic functionality and mechanical support to specific structures in the Exosuits with consequent tangible benefits:

  • Decreasing dimensions and weight of the overall device, hence limiting the presence of cables and components that are devoted to signals routing,
  • Improving the mechanical transparency perceived by the wearer by locating the actuation stage far from the joints, and delivering torques/forces by novel tendon driven mechanisms.

Figure 3. Soft Exosuit Components – Back Part + Two Arm Parts.

Figure 3 present the preliminary version of the industrial Exosuit. The soft Exosuit consists with one back part and two arm parts. Each part connected by wires. We used an ergonomic back protector and elbow orthosis. All the parts are fabricated with plastics for decreasing weight. We used four motors to control the two shoulder joint and two elbow joint, respectively.

Figure 4 presents the mechanism of arm parts. The wires are attached to the braces of the arm parts. Pulleys are used for generating vertical forces on the braces. When the wires tensioned, the arm parts start lifting arm parts. Each wire is controlled by voice commands from the user. The commands are simplified such as “lift”, “stop”, and “release” for simplifying the lifting task. We also used slacked wire mechanism for giving freedom of arm movement when the user doesn’t need help.

Figure 4. Wire Mechanism on Arm Parts.

Although the soft Exosuit is designed for industrial uses, we plan to expand application area such as clinical rehabilitation. The prototype will be readied in this year (2017) and soon be commercialized in following years.


% This project is sponsored by

SPRING Singapore - Singapore Government

in collaboration with industrial partner PPTECH Pte Ltd.


New Journal on Rehabilitation Technology

Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering (click here)

Lorenzo MASIA (Associate Editor)



Journal Topics

Research Topic (click here)





International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics

Singapore 11th-14th August 2015 Hosted by NTU

General Chair: Wei Tech ANG

Program Chair: Lorenzo MASIA



IEEE BIOROB 2016 (clickhere)



  • L. Masia, Nanyang Tech. University
  • S. Kukreja, National University of Singapore





Lorenzo MASIA Editor of Biorob 2014



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