A powered exoskeleton prevents the elderly from falling
Wearable machines that enhance your movement and endurance no longer belong to the realm of science fiction. They are being developed today in the laboratory, and in this controlled setting, already prevent the elderly from falling.
Scientists at Scuola Sant’Anna in Italy and EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland have built a prototype of a smart, light-weight and easy-to-personalize exoskeleton that counteracts the loss of balance and promotes balance recovery after an accidental slip. This is a first in wearable machines, which are normally used to assist or enhance regular movement, instead of preventing an unexpected event like falling. The results are published on May 11th in Scientific Reports.
The exoskeleton was designed to help the elderly by preventing fall-related injuries, since seniors are involved in 40% of fatal injuries related to falling in Europe. But the exoskeleton could also be used as an aid for the physically impaired, amputees and those suffering from neurological disorders. It’s technology that will actually help people with their daily activities.
The exoskeleton is wearable from the waist down, and is vastly different from the armored stuff you see in today’s science fiction movies.
“Our smart exoskeleton is light-weight and extremely easy to personalize,” says Silvestro Micera, professor at EPFL and Scuola Sant’Anna and holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational Neuroengineering. For this first prototype, the exoskeleton requires only a few minutes to adapt to a given patient, which involves adjusting the size for a particular user and learning the user’s gait.
How the exoskeleton works
At Hospital Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi in Florence, 69 year old Fulvio Bertelli puts on the wearable machine, a device equipped with motors at the hip, and braces made out of carbon fiber. The scientists adjust a few nuts and bolts, and Bertelli is ready to test his new gear. It is not yet the attire that can be discretely worn outside of the laboratory. But it works.
“I feel more confident when I wear the exoskeleton,” says Bertelli after having worn the machine on a special treadmill that can artificially make him lose his balance and slip.
The Latest on: Smart exoskeleton
- How A.I. Exoskeletons Could Make People Super-Human on June 24, 2017 at 1:37 am
Robotic exoskeletons have been heralded as the future of industry, physical rehabilitation, and geriatric assistance, but progress has been slow. That may be changing, beacause researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are developing a ... […]
- Smart Exoskeleton Adapts to Individual Users on June 22, 2017 at 10:36 pm
One of the challenges to designing prosthetics, or exoskeletons for the disabled, is that everyone is different. Technology designed to help a person walk or get around doesn't work very well when it is built to be one-size-fits-all. But scientists at ... […]
- ReWalk Unveils Soft Suit Exoskeleton for Stroke Patients on June 20, 2017 at 5:30 am
premiered the prototype for a soft suit exoskeleton intended to assist stroke survivors on Yahoo Finance. North America Takes Lead in Industry 5.0 by Necessity Embedded Vision Why Smart Manufacturing Is Guaranteed to Need Industrial Robotics Stäubli ... […]
- Robotic ‘exoskeleton’ lets man walk again on June 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm
ReWalk says the product is the first exoskeleton cleared by the Food and Drug Administration ... the way bulky bag phones evolved into slim smart phones. For now, Mills expects to fulfill a goal from the start of his training: to walk down the aisle ... […]
- Dexmo is an exoskeleton glove that lets you feel virtual objects on June 14, 2017 at 9:45 am
Dexmo is an exoskeleton for your hand ... Dexmo can also be used to control RC vehicles, smart lighting, third-party applications like Fruity Loops, and machine-assisted sign language interpretation. Heck, they even want robotics firms using it in bomb ... […]
via Google News and Bing News