There are many reasons why a person’s arm or upper limb function may be impaired. Whether caused by acquired or congenital disorders or common aging, having limited arm function can make activities of daily living a challenge. That’s where the Myoshirt comes in.
This modular, soft, wearable robot supports both shoulder stability and mobility.
Assistive Device for Arm Function
When your arm function is limited, it makes it difficult to cook, clean and do other activities of daily living. The Myoshirt is textile-based, which has many advantages, such as:
- Being lightweight
- Can be combined with normal clothing
- Can be mounted energy-efficiently close to the body’s core
- Can assist the wearer intuitively, acting like an external layer of muscles
The Myoshirt was created to assist in shoulder stability and mobility. To assist in stability, a textile-based scapula orthosis applies a force on the scapula to prevent scapula winging. That is a dislocation of the scapula when elevating your arm. It is caused by a weakness of the muscles in the upper back. Using the scapula orthosis, range of motion, movement and control of the arm can be improved.
To assist with mobility, a garment-like exosuit supports the upper limb against gravity. Forces are generated in a motor unit and transferred to the shoulder via tendons. This helps support shoulder elevation and rotation. Using motion and force sensors, the user’s movements are detected and followed.
Daily Assistance with the Myoshirt
The Myoshirt is an intuitive tool that actively supports people with upper limb impairments during activities of daily living.
Developed by ETH Zurich Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, the Myoshirt is just one project in the area of wearable robotics. Building on an analysis of how humans and robots interact, the research team developed robots for both the upper and lower limbs.
To learn more, check out this video: