The Lopez-Loreta prize for academic research goes to a young ISAE-SUPAERO engineer for his Enoskelet project

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Amaury Ciurana received the award from the Fondation Jean-Jacques et Félicia Lopez-Loreta at the end of December 2019 for his exoskeleton project that seeks to strengthen joints in children suffering from cerebral palsy and help them improve their mobility.

During his studies at ISAE-SUPAERO, Amaury developed a research project with the research professors at the Department of Mechanics of Structures and Materials (DMSM). Starting in his first year, as part of his Project for Innovation and Creativity (PIC), he became interested in Enoskelet, the medical project headed by Guilhem Michon, a research professor at the DMSM. This project consists in creating an exoskeleton to strengthen joints in children suffering from cerebral palsy. It provides assistance for motorized walking to strengthen their joints. Enoskelet is an attempt to create a rehabilitation system to provide an alternative to wheelchairs and walkers.

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Prototype of enoskelet

In his second year, Amaury worked on a prototype tested at ISAE-SUPAERO with the help of six colleagues and his research professor. Sensors placed on the legs of children suffering from this disease are used to model their walking behavior and to develop artificial legs printed in 3D at the DMSM.

The idea is for the exoskeleton to sense the intended movement in the hips and legs using sensors and then to orient the walking movement by providing the proper robotic muscle support. Thus, the exoskeleton does not give orders to the body, but rather interprets existing muscle signals in order to amplify movement. There is a real interaction between pathological human movement and the exoskeleton’s commands.

A prize for research

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Amaury Ciurana receving his award

Amaury received the Fondation Lopez-Loreta prize for Enoskelet. “This award will enable us to carry out the next three steps of the project, which are R&D, medical certification for the product and, in the end, putting Enoskelet on the market with a first exoskeleton to rehabilitate the knee and, in the long term, a complete exoskeleton,” Amaury Ciurana said.

Currently in the second year of a double degree program for the Master of Science (MSc) X (École Polytechnique)-HEC Entrepreneurs, Amaury is leaving for Berkeley, California, in January 2020 where he will spend 4 months preparing a certificate in entrepreneurship. This will enable him to carry out an in-depth study of medical conditions. It will also give him the opportunity to carry out a study of the American market.

When he comes back to Toulouse, Amaury will set up house at ISAE-SUPAERO’s InnovSpace to pursue his research with a team of engineers thanks to this prize. He will also continue to benefit from the support of the research departments at ISAE-SUPAERO in partnership with the CNRS’s Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS-CNRS).

The Fondation Jean-Jacques et Félicia Lopez-Loreta seeks to encourage the best young graduates from four of Swiss and French schools of excellence: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), ETH Zurich, École Polytechnique and ISAE-SUPAERO. This prize’s goal is to help the winners to carry out highly promising, innovative projects in academic research or for entrepreneurial aims.

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