The Effects of Added Mass on Gait Kinematics, Kinetics and Muscle Activity

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Megan Reissman


Lower-limb exoskeletons can provide a means of mobility and rehabilitation training, for patients affected by musculoskeletal deficits and neurological disorders. However, a major impediment to exoskeletal use has been a lack of scientific understanding about the biomechanical effects of placing a significant amount of mass, in the form of an exoskeleton, on the human body. The objective of this work is to strengthen the underlying science about the effects of added mass on healthy gait. Our basic science research is driven by the following questions: Is there a load distribution pattern that produces gait outcomes that are closer to unloaded gait outcomes? What are the effects of confounding factors like age and speed on loaded walking, across the whole gait cycle? This study aims to answer these research questions and improve our understanding about the adaptive changes and recalibration that happens to human gait when mass is added to the lower body.


Biomechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Gait Biomechanics Added Mass Exoskeletons Statistical Parametric Mapping

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