Invented Robotic Exoskeleton Chair to provide freedom for ambulation between workstations
In the photo from left are Prasad Viduranga, Buddhika Kumara, Isira Wijegunawardana, Professor Ruwan Gopura and Eng. Pubudu Ranaweera and Manura De Silva.
A wearable robotic exoskeleton chair, named ChairX, which aids industrial workers to sit while working, has been developed by a group of undergraduates attached to the Bionics Laboratory of Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Moratuwa.
Final year undergraduate students Isira Wijegunawardana, Buddhika Kumara, Manura De Silva and Prasad Viduranga designed the chair. It was developed under the guidance of Professor Ruwan Gopura and Engineer Pubudu Ranaweera.
Speaking about the invention Professor Gopura said ‘ChairX is a wearable robotic exoskeleton chair which can be used by industrial workers. The industry expects sustained efficacy from the factory worker to maximise productivity. Subsequently, the workers are exposed to cumulative traumatic injuries depending on the type of work and frequency of activities.
“One major reason behind the occurrence of lower-limb work-related musculoskeletal disorders is the uncomfortable crouched postures that have to be assumed repeatedly by the workers in their daily routine. However, considering the nature of work, crouched postures cannot be completely eliminated in work condition of certain industries such as automobile, aircraft and apparel where assembling and fitting operations are to be carried out.
“The circumstances demanded an innovative approach to support the body of the worker. Consequently ChairX was designed to relieve the lower extremity by supporting the body weight and providing freedom for ambulation between workstations. ChairX includes a knee-centered locking mechanism on the lateral side and an active linkage mechanism on the posterior side of the leg to assist the joints of the user at various seated positions. In particular, the device is capable of providing sitting assistance for assuming crouched positions with forward-inclined as well as backward-inclined leg angles. We hope to introduce ChairX to the industry in the near future’’.