Posts Tagged run

[ARTICLE] The exoskeleton expansion: improving walking and running economy – Full Text


Since the early 2000s, researchers have been trying to develop lower-limb exoskeletons that augment human mobility by reducing the metabolic cost of walking and running versus without a device. In 2013, researchers finally broke this ‘metabolic cost barrier’. We analyzed the literature through December 2019, and identified 23 studies that demonstrate exoskeleton designs that improved human walking and running economy beyond capable without a device. Here, we reviewed these studies and highlighted key innovations and techniques that enabled these devices to surpass the metabolic cost barrier and steadily improve user walking and running economy from 2013 to nearly 2020. These studies include, physiologically-informed targeting of lower-limb joints; use of off-board actuators to rapidly prototype exoskeleton controllers; mechatronic designs of both active and passive systems; and a renewed focus on human-exoskeleton interface design. Lastly, we highlight emerging trends that we anticipate will further augment wearable-device performance and pose the next grand challenges facing exoskeleton technology for augmenting human mobility.


Exoskeletons to augment human walking and running economy: previous predictions and recent milestones

The day that people move about their communities with the assistance of wearable exoskeletons is fast approaching. A decade ago, Ferris predicted that this day would happen by 2024 [1] and Herr foresaw a future where people using exoskeletons to move on natural terrain would be more common than them driving automobiles on concrete roads [2]. Impressively, Ferris and Herr put forth these visions prior to the field achieving the sought-after goal of developing an exoskeleton that breaks the ‘metabolic cost barrier’. That is, a wearable assistive device that alters user limb-joint dynamics, often with the intention of reducing user metabolic cost during natural level-ground walking and running compared to not using a device. When the goal is to reduce effort, metabolic cost is the gold-standard for assessing lower-limb exoskeleton performance since it is an easily attainable, objective measure of effort, and relates closely to overall performance within a given gait mode [34]. For example, reducing ‘exoskeleton’ mass improves user running economy, and in turn running performance [4]. Further, enhanced walking performance is often related to improved walking economy [3] and quality of life [56]. To augment human walking and running performance, researchers seriously began attempting to break the metabolic cost barrier using exoskeletons in the first decade of this century, shortly after the launch of DARPA’s Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation program [7,8,9,10].

It was not until 2013 that an exoskeleton broke the metabolic cost barrier [11]. In that year, Malcolm and colleagues [11] were the first to break the barrier when they developed a tethered active ankle exoskeleton that reduced their participants’ metabolic cost during walking (improved walking economy) by 6% (Fig. 1). In the following 2 years, both autonomous active [12] and passive [13] ankle exoskeletons emerged that also improved human walking economy (Fig. 1). Shortly after those milestones, Lee and colleagues [14] broke running’s metabolic cost barrier using a tethered active hip exoskeleton that improved participants’ running economy by 5% (Fig. 1). Since then, researchers have also developed autonomous active [1516] and passive [1718] exoskeletons that improve human running economy (Fig. 1).


Fig, 1 Milestones illustrating the advancement of exoskeleton technology. Tethered (blue) and autonomous (red) exoskeletons assisting at the ankle (circle), knee (triangle), and hip (square) joint to improve healthy, natural walking (left) and running (right) economy versus using no device are shown



Continue —->  The exoskeleton expansion: improving walking and running economy | Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Full Text

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[NEWS] From Fiction to Virtual Reality: OmniPad Launches an Innovative Circular Revolving-Tread Omnidirectional Treadmill That Lets Users Naturally Walk, Jog or Run in any Direction Through VR Worlds

 Jan. 15, 2019, 07:52 AM

IRVINE, Calif.Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Since the beginning, virtual reality paired with an omnidirectional treadmill that allows users to move through the virtual world in any direction has been relegated to realms of fiction…until now. A new company, OmniPad, (, is looking to change the world of virtual reality with its sleek and innovative game-changing VR treadmill that allows for fully immersive natural 360-degree movement through virtual space.

The OmniPad utilizes a ball-bearing encrusted omnidirectional platform that supports a flattened spherical, revolving treadmill track. The OmniPad platform enables the locomotion surface to freely revolve endlessly, in any direction, creating a unique omnidirectional treadmill. With the OmniPad, gamers, first responders, architects, virtual tourists, and even the military, can freely walk and run around in real time virtual environments, experiencing the most comprehensive and fully immersive VR experience available.

“Being a professional 3D animator for over 25 years, and having worked on very high-end virtual reality projects, the challenge of ‘how to enable 360-degree locomotion on a stationary surface‘ is a question that burned in my mind since the late 1990’s. I contemplated this obstacle to freedom of VR locomotion for months and years. Then, I was lying in bed one night further toiling with the omnidirectional locomotion surface question, and it dawned on me . . . a water balloon!” said Neil Epstein, OmniPad’s CEO and president. “I realized that when you take a small water balloon, press it firmly between your palms so that the top and bottom surfaces are completely flat, and then motion your hands in opposing circular directions, the flattened water balloon freely revolves in all directions while still remaining completely flat on both sides. Hence, the core mechanics of the OmniPad were born.”

The benefits and features of the OmniPad will include:

  • A Unique Omnidirectional Treadmill Design: The circular moving omnidirectional platform sets the company apart in the VR industry.
  • Unmatched Virtual Reality Immersion: The OmniPad lets virtual reality users experience the most immersive VR experience available by letting users freely and naturally walk, jog and run around in the virtual reality world.
  • Patented Treadmill Design and Construction: The dynamic, never before implemented design mechanics that grant the OmniPad its unique immersive locomotion abilities make it the only VR accessory of its type available in the industry.
  • A Multitude Of Uses Possible Uses: With the appropriate Virtual Reality environments, the OmniPad offers a comprehensive gaming experience, as well as highly-effective training of training first responders and soldiers, and allows architects, engineers, and home buyers to visualize buildings and real estate, and even has significant applications in sports training, eSports competitions, and rehabilitation, among so many other applications.

OmniPad has launched a SEC regulation crowdfunding equity campaign, ( ), to share awareness and the potential capabilities of this awe-inspiring product. You can check out the company’s YouTube channel, (, to see the OmniPad in action.


OmniPad is a startup company comprised of some of the brightest and creative minds available. The company’s team includes the world’s foremost expert on omnidirectional locomotion surface technology and Stanford Engineering graduate, David Carmein, the EMMY award-winning 3-D artist and conceptual mind behind OmniPad, Neil Epstein, J.D., and the marketing specialties of Jordan Robinson, Orentheal Williams, and Kenneth Dunn.

Media Contact:
George Pappas
Conservaco/The Ignite Agency

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via From Fiction to Virtual Reality: OmniPad Launches an Innovative Circular Revolving-Tread Omnidirectional Treadmill That Lets Users Naturally Walk, Jog or Run in any Direction Through VR Worlds | Markets Insider

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