As space exploration is becoming increasingly important, there is an urgent need for innovative systems to help the human body adapt to the hostile conditions that characterize other celestial bodies, such as the reduced gravity. Exoskeletons, together with Virtual Reality environments, could be used to simulate such environments on Earth so that astronauts can prepare for their missions. In recent years, the applications of exoskeletons have increased significantly. At the same time, technologies for virtual reality (VR) are also improving. The objective of the project is to integrate a lower limb exoskeleton in a 3D environment that reproduces the potential space stations located on Moon/Mars, where the exoskeleton simulates space operations typically carried out by astronauts, adapting itself to the different gravity. The overall work has been divided into three macro areas: the exoskeleton design, the creation of a VR environment of Moon/Mars base where to simulate the operations, and their final integration. The results are of great importance as they represent a new type of application that could be widely used in the near future, as the interest in space exploration grows. In the future, the intention is to expand the system so to support the simulation of a wider variety of movements, such as the operator bending down to pick up objects, the astronaut driving the rover out of the space station, etc. Moreover, the space base could be modelled in further detail and the proposed architecture could be turned into a real prototype to be worn by astronauts on Earth.
Principal Academic Tutor:
Andrea Bottino (Politecnico di Torino)
Giuseppe Menga, Former faculty member of PoliTo, Syso s.a.s.