Human pressure tolerance and effects of different padding materials with implications for development of exoskeletons and similar devices.

Affiliation

Kozinc Ž(1), Babič J(2), Šarabon N(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Health Studies, Andrej Marušič Institute, Universiry of Primorska, 6000, Koper, Slovenia; Faculty of Health Sciences Universiry of Primorska, 6310, Izola, Slovenia.
(2)Laboratory of Neuromechanics and Biorobotics, Department of Automation, Biocybernetics and Robotics, Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
(3)Department of Health Studies, Andrej Marušič Institute, Universiry of Primorska, 6000, Koper, Slovenia; Innorenew CoE, Livade 2, 6310, Izola, Slovenia; S2P Ltd, Tehnološki Park 19, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

In this study, we assessed pressure tolerance in 16 healthy participants at the thigh, chest, and pelvic area, using different surfaces (1 cm2, 20 cm2 and different components, used in exoskeleton design), and the effects of different padding materials. Our results showed substantial variability in pressure tolerance among the participants, as well as lower pressure tolerance in females. Regarding the force applied with the exoskeleton components, male participants had higher discomfort threshold (230.3 ± 44.9 N compared to females (116.1 ± 24.6 N) in the chest area. For the applications with 20 cm2 surface, the males also showed higher pain threshold at the thigh (89.3 ± 41.8 N vs. 34.6 ± 27.2 N) and the pelvis (97.6 ± 37.0 N vs. 56.1 ± 29.5 N). All padding materials increased pressure tolerance for 10-38% (p < 0.001), but little differences between materials were observed.