Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 143-155

IKO: A Five Actuated DoF Upper Limb Exoskeleton Oriented to Workplace Assistance

Felix Martinez, Aron Pujana-Arrese, Iban Retolaza, Irantzu Sacristan, Jon Basurko, and Joseba Landaluze

Ikerlan Technological Research Centre, Arizmendiarrieta-2, E20500 Arrasate/Mondragon, Spain

Received 6 March 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


IKerlan’s Orthosis (IKO) is an upper limb exoskeleton oriented to increasing human force during routine activity at the workplace. Therefore, it can be considered as a force-amplification device conceived to work in collaboration with the human arm and implementing biomimetic principles. The aim of the proposed design is to find the best compromise between maximum reachable workspace and minimum moving mass, which are the key factors for obtaining an ergonomic, wearable exoskeleton. It consists of five actuated degree of freedom (DoF) to move the human arm and three non-actuated DoF between the back and shoulder to allow relative displacement of the sterno-clavicular joint. Conventional electrical motors are used for most of the DoF and pneumatic muscles for one of them (forearm rotation). Power transmission is based on Bowden cables. This paper presents the IKO design, the mechanical structure of a first prototype and the redesign process from an aesthetic point of view. Controller set-up and control strategies are also shown, together with dynamic performance from experimental results.