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Harvard and Padova Universities to prevent the risk of falling in the elderly

Instability is the main cause of falls for the elderly people, which increases the risk of fractures and therefore disability, with high health and social costs. Fall prevention is one of the targets of social and health policies for the promotion of the active aging.

The SoftAct project aims to meet this need by developing an innovative neuromuscolar controller integrated in a "soft exoskeleton" (exosuit: soft wearable robot) for the lower limb, that can detect the loss of stability during walking or standing by the integration of biomechanical, cerebral, and muscolar signals. This information will activate compensation systems integrated in the soft exoskeleton to prevent possible falls, with an integrated feedback-feedforward system.

The project will see the cooperation of two research groups: the Harvard University, which has an experience in gait and muscle signal analysis (EMG), and which created the prototype of the exosuit, and the University of Padova, with its deep knowledge in the field of brain signal analisys (EEG) and intelligent software for robotics. Prof. Alessandra De Felice of the Neuroscience Department is the coordinator of the project, and is working with the Department of Engineering Information and prof.Emanuele Menegatti.


A video explaining the work carried on by the "Robotics and Neuroscience" group of the University of Padova.

Click on this link for the same video but in the ITALIAN language.


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