Human balance augmentation via a supernumerary robotic tail

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul;2022:2878-2881. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871317.


Humans are intrinsically unstable in quiet stance from a rigid body system viewpoint; however, they maintain balance thanks to neuro-muscular sensory properties whilst still exhibiting postural sway characteristics. This work intro-duces a one-degree-of-freedom supernumerary tail for balance augmentation in the sagittal plane to negate anterior-posterior postural sway. Simulations showed that the tail could success-fully balance a human with impaired ankle stiffness and neural control. Insights into tail design and control were made; namely, to minimise muscular load the tail must have a significant component in the direction of the muscle, mounting location of the tail is significant in maximising inertial properties for balance augmentation and that adaptive control of the tail will be best suited for different loads held by a wearer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Robotics*