Load-bearing exoskeleton for augmentation of human running


Augmentation of human locomotion has proved an elusive goal. Natural human walking is extremely efficient, and the complex articulation of the human leg poses significant engineering difficulties. We present a wearable exoskeleton designed to reduce the metabolic cost of jogging. The exoskeleton places a stiff fiberglass spring in parallel with the complete leg during stance phase, then removes it so that the knee may bend during leg swing. The result is a bouncing gait with reduced reliance on the musculature of the knee and ankle.