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Poster B56 - Sketchpad Series

Estimation of the cognitive resources necessary for the correct use of exoskeletons. A multidisciplinary and mixed reality approach.

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

DR LUCA FALCIATI1 (, Maria Lucia Cavallo1, Noemi Pintori1, Alessandro Piol1, Giacomo Valli1, Martina Mosso1, Gianluca Rossetto1, Emma Sala2, Emilia Scalona1, Nicola Francesco Lopomo3, Francesco Negro1, Debora Brignani1; 1UNIVERSITY OF BRESCIA (ITALY), 2ASST SPEDALI CIVILI DI BRESCIA (ITALY), 3POLITECNICO DI MILANO (ITALY)

Reducing the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) is a crucial objective of occupational research. Upper-limb exoskeletons are the most explored solutions in manufacturing contexts where workers are mainly exposed to biomechanical overloads (e.g., manual load handling activities). However, the changes required in the motor control to handle an exoskeleton can lead to cognitive overload. This could affect not only the ability to perform simple motor tasks, thus leading to exacerbate WMSD risks, but also the alertness to prioritize salient stimuli, thus increasing safety risks. By means of a novel paradigm that pairs a dual motor-cognitive task and mixed reality (MR) technology, the ongoing study investigates how the use of exoskeletons impacts on attention skills. The motor task consists in manual handling of loads from pelvis level to shoulder height executed by wearing an exoskeleton, while the cognitive task consists in the detection of visual targets presented by the MR system. Concurrently with the motor task, participants have to move eyes from a central fixation cross to a peripheral visual target appearing among distractors. Multiple experimental sessions are administered on different days to study the learning to use the exoskeleton, as assessed by biomechanical measures. The variables obtained from ocular responses (i.e.: rate of central fixations; rate and latency of saccades to target; rate of saccade omissions; rate of saccades to distractors) will be analyzed to extract objective indexes for the estimation of the cognitive load required to handle exoskeletons for the first time and after a few learning sessions.



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April 13–16  |  2024