DEXO – The DexROV Exoskeleton

DEXO: force feedback arms and hands exoskeleton interface for telepresence.

DEXO consists of a double arms and hands exoskeleton system, allowing to remotely operate a dexterous manipulator – either in direct bilateral teleoperation mode if the communication latency is sufficiently low, or in teaching mode (then requires interfacing with the DexROV cognitive engine) if the communication latency is higher, relying on interactions with a Virtual Reality rendering of the remote undersea environment.

DEXO product is available for demonstration. Direct product sales are possible, quotation and conditions on demand.

Alternatively, leasing of DEXO is possible depending on applications.

We are also looking for collaboration opportunities where DEXO may be associated to other systems to demonstrate novel operation concepts and tackling new markets.

Finally, the DEXO team is interested in queries in relation to potential participation in the ANA Avatar X-Prize.

Contact: Dr. Pierre Letier,

Technical description and applications:

DEXO includes 2 force-feedback arms with 7 active degrees of freedom on each arm, from the shoulder to the wrist, and hand exoskeletons with 6 active degrees of freedom (1 per finger + 1 for thumb abduction).

The overall setup is mounted on an active column featuring a saddle seat allowing seating comfortably when using the exoskeleton interface, while maximizing the work space in front of the user for manipulation operations. The column also contains the PC controlling the exoskeletons

Each joint of the arms is equipped with brushless electrical motors, position sensors, force/torque sensors and low-level control-power electronics, all interconnected through EtherCAT real-time communication bus.

The arms’ joints are based on a mechanism design patented by Space Applications Services.

In remotely operated inspection and maintenance robotic applications, very few interfaces feature force feedback, and only under the form of a desktop interface. The user only experience feedback at the end effector of the haptic desktop, in his/her hand palm or fingers as a single force information. The DexROV setup is much more comprehensive, and intends to provide an immersion feeling to users, where he/she would feel like diving and activing directly on the environment (natural and intuitive interactions).

The arms + hands force feedback exoskeleton interface is among the most advanced telepresence systems developed to date. The gravity compensation feature contributes making DEXO really unique in its kind.

DEXO was first designed for complex ROV interventions in offshore marine applications: oil and gas, renewable energy, but also biology, geology and archaeology.

Besides, DEXO can be exploited for robotic based dexterous interventions in harsh environment: e.g. plants installations maintenance, operations in nuclear fuel treatment / storage, search and rescue interventions, bomb disposal interventions (EOD), space exploration.

DEXO may apply in a number of other cases where telepresence has added value: healthcare, search and rescue, entertainment, etc.

DEXO may also apply to concepts of immersive training facilities, when interfaced with a virtual reality environment (aka. serious gaming).

Relationships with other DexROV components:

The DexROV exoskeleton interface can be used as a standalone force feedback (haptic) interface to control a slave manipulator (and effector), or can be combine with other DexROV components to allow for dexterous remote interactions in presence of communication latency. In the latter case, the two following DexROV products are needed:

  • the DexROV Cognitive Engine (SW)
  • the DexROV Virtual Reality rendering framework (SW) along with visual rendering interface (HW) (e.g. Oculus rift head mounted display).

For immersive training application, the DexROV Virtual Reality rendering framework (SW) is a great added value, but DEXO can also be interfaced to other virtual reality training environment.


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