Exoskeletons are a new class of articulated mechanical systems whose performance is realized while in intimate contact with the human user. The overall performance depends on many factors including selection of architecture, device, parameters and the nature of the coupling to the human, offering numerous challenges to design-evaluation and refinement. In this paper, we discuss merger of techniques from the musculoskeletal analysis and simulation-based design to study and analyze the performance of such exoskeletons. A representative example of a simplified exoskeleton interacting with and assisting the human arm is used to illustrate principal ideas. Overall, four different case-scenarios are developed and examined with quantitative performance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the design and allow for design refinement. The results show that augmentation by way of the exoskeleton can lead to a significant reduction in muscle loading.

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