Maria Lazzaroni

Maria Lazzaroni
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Department of Advanced Robotics

PhD

About

18
Publications
8,397
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302
Citations
Citations since 2017
18 Research Items
301 Citations
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Introduction
I am a postdoctoral researcher at Wearable Robots, Exoskeletons and Exosuits Laboratory (XoLab), at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). I am currently involved in the project INAIL-EC2 Sistemi Cibernetici Collaborativi – Occupational exoskeletons for injury prevention, funded by INAIL (Italian Worker’s Compensation Authority), working on exoskeleton control. My research interests include exoskeleton control, wearable technologies for human monitoring and ergonomics.

Publications

Publications (18)
Article
Full-text available
Occupational back-support exoskeletons see their potential application in many industrial sectors to mitigate low back pain risk for workers performing demanding tasks. This work aims to design and evaluate a control strategy that improves the efficacy of an active exoskeleton by exploiting the raw signal from an accelerometer placed on the user's...
Chapter
This work analyzes the use of users’ dynamics to define the assistance of a back-support exoskeleton for assisting manual material handling. Exploiting the acceleration and velocity of the user’s torso on the sagittal plane allows to distinguish between lifting and lowering phases and accordingly adapt the assistance. Theoretical and practical issu...
Chapter
In recent years, back-support exoskeletons have shown potential to mitigate the ergonomic risk associated with lifting activities. In addition to lifting, carrying is known to represent a risk for the workers. In this work, we elaborate on the effects of an active back-support exoskeleton (XoTrunk) assisting with carrying activities, using the same...
Chapter
Estimation of low-back load can be used to determine the assistance to be provided by an actuated back-support exoskeleton. To this end, an EMG-driven muscle model and a regression model can be implemented. The goal of the regression model is to reduce the number of required sensors for load estimation. Both models need to be calibrated. This study...
Article
Full-text available
The risk of low-back pain in manual material handling could potentially be reduced by back-support exoskeletons. Preferably, the level of exoskeleton support relates to the required muscular effort, and therefore should be proportional to the moment generated by trunk muscle activities. To this end, a regression-based prediction model of this momen...
Article
Full-text available
The execution of manual material handling activities in the workplace exposes workers to large lumbar loads that increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and low back pain. In particular, the redesign of the workplace is making the execution of pulling activities more common, as an alternative to lifting and carrying tasks. The biomechanical...
Article
Full-text available
Occupational back-support exoskeletons are becoming a more and more common solution to mitigate work-related lower-back pain associated with lifting activities. In addition to lifting, there are many other tasks performed by workers, such as carrying, pushing, and pulling, that might benefit from the use of an exoskeleton. In this work, the impact...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce the incidence of occupational musculoskeletal disorders, back-support exoskeletons are being introduced to assist manual material handling activities. Using a device of this type, this study investigates the effects of a new control strategy that uses the angular acceleration of the user’s trunk to assist during lifting tasks. To validate...
Article
Full-text available
OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONS Many new occupational back-support exoskeletons have been developed in the past few years both as research prototypes and as commercial products. These devices are intended to reduce the risk of lower-back pain and injury for workers in various possible application sectors, including assembly in automotive and aerospace, l...
Article
Full-text available
Physical human–robot interaction is receiving a growing attention from the scientific community. One of the main challenges is to understand the principles governing the mutual behaviour during collaborative interactions between humans. In this context, the knowledge of human whole-body motion and forces plays a pivotal role. Current state of the a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Industrial active exoskeletons have recently achieved considerable interest, due to their intrinsic versatility compared to passive devices. To achieve this versatility, an important open challenge is the design of appropriate control strategies to automatically modulate the physical assistance according to the activity the user is performing. This...
Chapter
Full-text available
Back-support exoskeletons have shown the potential to improve workplace ergonomics by reducing the risk of low-back injury. To support the rapidly expanding landscape and to correspondingly promote correct adoption, standard specifications for back-support exoskeletons are desirable. We propose a list of properties and discuss their relevance to in...
Chapter
Exoskeletons were recently proposed to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders for workers. To promote adoption of active exoskeletons in the workplace, control interfaces and strategies have to be designed that overcome practical problems. Open challenges regard sensors invasiveness and complexity, accurate user’s motion detection, and adapta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Back-support exoskeletons have been recently proposed to reduce the risk of injuries for workers performing repetitive lifting tasks. Appropriate standards for their evaluation do not exist, but their definition would promote large-scale adoption in workplaces. This paper presents relevant standards and evaluation metrics as applied to similar devi...
Article
Full-text available
Active exoskeletons are potentially more effective and versatile than passive ones, but designing them poses a number of additional challenges. An important open challenge in the field is associated to the assistive strategy, by which the actuation forces are modulated to the user’s needs during the physical activity. This paper addresses this chal...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of human–robot interaction, control of robots could be improved by adding human dynamics as a feedback to robot controllers. [...]
Article
Full-text available
The success of robots in real-world environments is largely dependent on their ability to interact with both humans and said environment. The FP7 EU project CoDyCo focused on the latter of these two challenges by exploiting both rigid and compliant contacts dynamics in the robot control problem. Regarding the former, to properly manage interaction...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
We are designing robotic exoskeletons for factory workers, aiming to reduce the incidence of occupational injuries. This is a hot and growing sector, with several companies worldwide already using exoskeletons or piloting new solutions, while more and more devices are developed and commercialized (https://exoskeletonreport.com/product-category/exoskeleton-catalog/industrial/). In the meantime, standards and regulations lay the foundations for mass adoption in the global market. This project builds upon the group's experience in this area (e.g. the www.robo-mate.eu and www.xosoft.eu projects), in partnership with and with funding from the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority (INAIL, www.inail.it).