Noteworthy breakthroughs have taken place in making the lives of differently challenged people of varied age groups, better in the recent years. Some are born with challenges and some become challenged due to accidents or health issues. In order to help them, there are many supportive prosthetics which make them move around, without dependencies. These are mechanical. We are going to learn about Exoskeletons today.
Exoskeletons are placed on the user’s body and act as amplifiers that augment, reinforce or restore human performance. The opposite would be a mechanical prosthetic, such as a robotic arm or leg that replaces the original body part.
A few Exoskeletons extend great strength to able-bodied users while others are meant to support physically-challenged people move around normally. Now we have a lighter version of this that is user-responsive than its me-too products in the market.
The prototype version of lighter Exoskeleton is in progress. The lower-body device is being developed with collaboration between The City University of New York, City College (CCNY) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). CCNY’s Dr. Hao Su was the first to invent initially.
The exoskeleton is meant to be used by elders who find it problematic to walk for extended periods. The University of Texas states that according to a Journal of Public Health report, 32 percent of people aged 65 or older find it challenging to walk the equivalent of three city blocks.
“Our prototype is approximately 60 percent lighter than commercially available exoskeletons,” says Dr. Gerard Francisco, chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School. “In addition, our model is run by the user, not the robot. Wearers aren’t forced to walk in a pre-defined path.”
“Despite the advancement of exoskeletons, state-of-the-art exoskeletons are not suitable to promote independence and community living,” says McGovern Medical School’s Asst. Prof. Shuo-Hsiu (James) Chang. “There is a pressing need for wearable robots that can improve the quality of life for broader populations in community settings.”
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