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Walking assistive device

This research presented a new soft wearable robotic suit for energy-efficient walking in daily activities for elderly persons. The presented robotic suit provides a small yet effective assistive force for hip flexion through winding belts that include elastic elements. In addition, it does not restrict the range of movement in the lower limbs. Moreover, its structure is simple and lightweight, and thus wearers can easily take the device on and off by themselves. Experimental results on nine elderly subjects (age = 74.2 years) show that the robotic suit worn and powered on (PON) significantly reduced energy expenditure by an average of 5.9 % compared with the condition of worn but powered off (POFF). Furthermore, compared with the POFF condition, there was a significant improvement in gait characteristics in the PON condition for all subjects.