Roger N. Rovekamp Jr.
Dextrous Robotics Laboratory
Lyndon B Johnson NASA Johnson Space Center
Roger Neil Rovekamp Jr. is a Robotics Engineer with Oceaneering Space Systems and the Dexterous Robotics Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center. His most recent work has focused on developing a suite of wearable robotic devices, namely the X1 lower extremity exoskeleton, with applications for spaceflight countermeasures and dynamometry, mobility assistance and performance enhancement. Roger holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. Roger and his team were recently nominated for the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement for their work with the X1 exoskeleton.
X1: NASA’s Robotic Exoskeleton for In-Space Countermeasures and Dynamometry
Bone density loss and muscle atrophy are among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) highest concerns for crew health in space. Countless hours are spent maintaining an exercise regimen aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to counteract the effect of zero-gravity. Looking toward the future, NASA researchers are developing new compact and innovative exercise technologies to maintain crew health as missions increase in length and take humans further out into the solar system. The X1 Exoskeleton, initially designed for assisted mobility on Earth, was quickly theorized to have far-reaching potential as both an in-space countermeasures device and a dynamometry device to measure muscle strength. This lower-extremity device has the ability to assist or resist human movement through the use of actuators positioned at the hips and knees. Multiple points of adjustment allow for a wide range of users, all the while maintaining correct joint alignment. Roger’s talk will discuss how the X1 Exoskeleton may fit NASA’s on-orbit countermeasures needs, as well as discuss some of NASA’s other work in this area.