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Symposium Chair: Christopher Reid
Symposium Cochairs: David Rempel, Kermit Davis

Monday, October 1

Pre-Start – Continental breakfast sponsored by Levitate Technologies

8:00 a.m.

Welcome (agenda overview) – Chris Reid, The Boeing Company


Liberty Mutual Welcome – George Brogmus


Opening Keynote: Wearable Robotic Systems: Global Landscape and Opportunities
Presented by Bruce Floersheim, WearRAcon/GoXStudio


Overview: Wearable robotic systems are quickly changing the realm of possibility with regard to optimizing human performance and improving physical rehabilitation. Floersheim will present an overview of the ecosystem of wearable robotics, provide a picture of global development and growth, and look at possibilities and issues of concern that will impact the future of the ergonomics and human factors in the next decade.
 

Bruce Floersheim
   Bruce Floersheim

Bruce Floersheim is chief operations officer and cofounder of GoX Studio (www.goxstudio.com), a small product development company focused on wearable and robotic technologies that enhance health, performance, and quality of life. Currently he is supporting execution of a human performance optimization product commercialization to provide ergonomists with the next generation of quantitative assessment tools to assess and enhance workplace safety and human performance. He is also chief executive officer and cofounder of FITT Scientific, a government contracting (govcon) services company that has grown in 36 months from the two original founders to more than 160 employees working across both coasts of the United States supporting training at U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard bases. In his spare time, he is director of operations for the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA – www.wearablerobotics.com), a trade association he cofounded that helps to bring together businesses, U.S. government program leaders, innovators, and technologies in this emerging technical field to establish international standards and to link buyers with sellers. He previously served 25 years on active duty in the U.S. Army, with 5 years in overseas assignments and operational and combat tours. He has a PhD in mechanical engineering and is a graduate of West Point, Class of 1989.


Presentation: Standards Update: ASTM F48, ISO, etc. (Scopes, Tasks, Status, and Needs) – Bill Billotte, NIST/ASTM

9:30 a.m.

Social/Coffee Break (sponsored by ASTM)
 

Exoskeleton User Discussion Panel
Overview: Who are the faces and advocates behind the users of exoskeletons and exosuits? What questions and concerns should exoskeleton and exosuit developers be mindful of when designing their products for their customers? This user discussion panel session will allow us to deep dive and discuss the concerns from different experts in industrial, military, and medical domains that help advocate for the safety and performance of exoskeleton and exosuit users.

Moderator: Robert R. (Bob) Fox, General Motors

Bob Fox
            Bob Fox

Bob Fox has over 30 years of experience in the field of ergonomics, human factors and physical anthropology. He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University and has worked in General Motors North American and global ergonomics activities since late 1993. He chairs the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for anthropometry and biomechanics and participates on various work groups for ANSI and ISO standards and technical reports on ergonomics. He also chairs the Technical Standards Division of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, which involves coordination and oversight of most human factors and ergonomics standards development in the USA and is on the ASTM F48.02 subcommittee on human factors and ergonomics for exoskeletons and exosuits.

  1. Nate Fuller, Bechtel – industrial construction

  2. Robbie Schram, Toyota – industrial auto manufacturing

  3. Ron Zmijewski, U.S. Navy – Puget Sound Naval Shipyard – military logistics/combat

  4. Kendra Betz, U.S. Veterans Affairs – medical usage

Research Methods 1 – Design for Population Accommodation & Performance

Moderator: Kermit Davis - U. of Cincinnati

  1. Monica Jones, U. of Michigan – anthropometry/range of motion

  2. Joseph Parham, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC) – applying anthropometry to exoskeleton design

  3. Quantifying Physical and Cognitive Fit for Assessing Exoskeletons
    Presented by Leia Stirling, MIT

             Leia Stirling

    Leia Stirling received a BS and MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003 and 2005, respectively, and a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. She is the C.S. Draper Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an Associate Faculty of the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at MIT. Professor Stirling’s research interests span computational dynamics, human-machine interaction, system automation, signal processing, and experimental biomechanics. She applies these interests to the development of tightly coupled human-machine systems, including wearable technology.

11:30 a.m.

Lunch (provided) with Exhibited Demos (sponsored by The Boeing Company)

1:10 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote Address: Ergonomic Assessment of a Spacesuit Exoskeleton: From The Perspective of Population Analysis, Fit, Accommodation, Comfort, and Performance
Presented by Sudhakar Rajulu, NASA Johnson Space Center


Overview: Evaluation of an exoskeleton is necessary to ensure a successful, safe, and comfortable deployment into a workplace with a wide range of users. Dr. Rajulu will present a comprehensive approach undertaken by the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility at NASA to assess and improve the design of a pressurized spacesuit being worn by astronauts for microgravity and partial gravity environments. He will also present the necessary essential steps on how to evaluate prototypes of a complex ensemble such as a spacesuit exoskeleton for a large user population with potentially limited test subjects’ data.

Sudhakar Rajulu
    Sudhakar Rajulu​

Dr. Sudhakar Rajulu is serving as Technical Manager for the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility within the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division of the NASA-Johnson Space Center. His research is focused on establishing and ensuring that all space hardware and tools are designed to fit, accommodate, and enable all crewmembers, and to that extent has developed and continues to develop novel techniques, methods, tools, and processes to derive necessary human physical performance related requirements and considerations. His areas of expertise include: occupational biomechanical assessment of human physical performance in reduced and earth gravity environments which include: hand strength capabilities, pressurized suit and glove performance, whole body mobility capabilities, three-dimensional surface anthropometry related to crew-space hardware design and evaluation, and digital human modeling, Dr. Rajulu serves on the Scientific Board for IEA sponsored International Human Digital Modeling as well as on the Program Board for the HCI sponsored International Digital Human Modeling Committee. He also serves on the International Ergonomics Journal review board.


Exoskeleton Developer Discussion Panel
Overview: Exo Squad, Elysium, Edge of Tomorrow, Aliens, and Iron Man. What visions of grandeur are mentally conjured when we think of what Hollywood has imagined our future to be? But how much of science fiction can become science fact? And how will we do that safely, reliably, and effectively for the people that intend to use these exoskeletons and exosuits? This developer discussion panel will allow us to tap into the visions that current manufacturers are pursuing while also allowing the audience and developers themselves, an opportunity to discuss processes, technology, or human research helps needed.

Moderator: Chris Reid, The Boeing Company

  1. Ben Wolff, Sarcos – industrial/military

  2. Marty Linn, GM/Bioservo – industrial

  3. Ignacio Galiana, Harvard Wyss Institute – military/medical/industrial

  4. Brandon Frees, Ekso Bionics, medical/industrial

Research Methods 2 – Assessing System Usability
Overview: It is important to understand how a person would interface and integrate both physically and cognitively with an exoskeleton and exosuit system. Ideal system usability and user experience can lead improved outcomes such as performance gains or conversely, lead to safety, discomfort, or confusion in utilization. This is an interactive audience discussion panel with researchers that have been looking into how these devices interact with people and the positive and/or negative outcomes that are starting to be seen from exoskeleton/exosuit usage.

Moderator: Carisa Harris-Adamson, UC-Berkley/SF

  1. Kevin Purcell, U.S. Army Public Health Center – military/ASTM F48.02 usability lead

  2. Kadon Kyte, The Boeing Company – industrial aerospace manufacturing

  3. Alix Dorfman, Underwriters Lab (UL), Wiklund – FDA exoskeleton device reviews

2:55 p.m.

Social/Coffee Break (sponsored by Northern Illinois University – College of Engineering & Engineering Technology)


Research Methods 3 – Assessing Safety
Overview: It is important to understand acute implications of wearing and using exoskeletons and exosuits. This session is an interactive audience discussion panel that examines the physical, physiological, hygienic, biomechanical, and/or usage effects with respect to safety concerns.

Moderator: Brian Lowe, NIOSH

  1. FDA representative for FDA exoskeleton medical device reviews

  2. Roger Bostelman, NIST – military/industrial

  3. Angela Boynton, U.S. Army Research Laboratory – military

Research Methods 4 – Assessing Ergonomics
Overview: It is important to understand any longitudinal implications of wearing and using exoskeletons and exosuits. This task examines the physiological and biomechanical effects to estimate potential concerns that could occur over time. SMEs and audience members will have the opportunity to discuss about exoskeleton/exosuit human research looking into ergonomic areas such as musculoskeletal or physiological concerns and/or performance gains.

Moderator: Cathy White, Dow Chemical

  1. Marty Smets, Ford Motor Company – industrial auto manufacturing

  2. Maury Nussbaum, Virginia Tech – industrial

  3. Karen Nolan, Kessler Foundation – medical

Closing Discussion Panel
Overview: Conferences and symposiums typically close with the event chairs giving a summary of the activities and findings from the occasion. This time we are doing things a bit different by allowing summaries to come from the perspectives of exoskeleton and exosuit SMEs themselves…each with different application, industry, or expert perspectives. This Closing Discussion Panel will allow for audience interaction with experts from workers compensation, the United States Department of Defense, medical exoskeleton device researchers, and industry standards experts to help shape near term and far term next steps in exoskeleton and exosuit development.

Moderator: Cindy Whitehead, U.S. Navy – Naval Sea System Command

  1. Delia Treaster, Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation – industrial/workers compensation

  2. Bindu Nair, U.S. Department of Defense Basic Research Office – military exoskeleton program (cross-agency)

  3. Gerard Francisco, TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital – medical

  4. Don Peterson, Northern Illinois U./ASTM 48 - standards

Adjournment – Chris Reid, The Boeing Company: Publication of conference presentations & discussion (NIOSH publication); Human Factors Journal for Q1-2019; HFES talks on exos, next meetings on Exos.

6:30 p.m.

HFES Opening Gala Reception