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Stanford engineers find ankle exoskeleton aids running

Running is great exercise but not everyone feels great doing it. In hopes of boosting physical activity – and possibly creating a new mode of transportation – engineers at Stanford University are studying devices that people could strap to their legs to make running easier.

跑步是一项很好的运动,但并非所有人都是如此;斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的工程师们正在研究一种设备:人们可以把它绑在腿上,让跑步变得更容易。

Researchers find that a motorized device that attaches around the ankle and foot can drastically reduce the energy cost of running.


In experiments with motor-powered systems that mimic such devices – called exoskeleton emulators – the researchers investigated two different modes of running assistance: motor-powered assistance and spring-based assistance. The results, published March 25 in Science Robotics, were surprising.

在模拟这些设备的电动系统——外骨骼模拟器——实验中,研究人员研究了两种不同的运行辅助模式:电动辅助和基于弹簧的辅助;研究结果发表在3月25日的《科学机器人》(Science Robotics)杂志上,结果很是令人惊讶。

The mere act of wearing an exoskeleton rig that was switched off increased the energy cost of running, making it 13 percent harder than running without the exoskeleton. However, the experiments indicated that, if appropriately powered by a motor, the exoskeleton reduced the energy cost of running, making it 15 percent easier than running without the exoskeleton and 25 percent easier than running with the exoskeleton switched off.