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Thread: Robotic devices to strap on....help in walking. I like reading from this site

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Default Robotic devices to strap on....help in walking. I like reading from this site

    https://wyss.harvard.edu/technology/soft-exosuit/

    I copied some from their website below Although there are videos on the website so go there!

    “Lightweight Exosuits are a new class of soft robots that combine classical robotic design and control principles with functional apparel to increase the wearer’s strength, balance and endurance


    Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University
    Soft exosuits offer a new way to assist the elderly in maintaining or restoring their gait, in rehabilitating children and adults with movement disorders due to Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease, or to ease the physical burden of soldiers, firefighters, paramedics, farmers, factory workers and others whose jobs require them to carry extremely heavy loads.

    For decades engineers have built exoskeletons that use rigid links in parallel with the biological anatomy to increase strength and endurance in wearers, and to protect them from injury and physical stress. A number of systems have been developed that show strong commercial potential, for example, in helping spinal cord injury patients walk, or enabling soldiers carry heavy loads. However, rigid exoskeletons often fail to allow the wearer to perform his or her natural joint movements, are generally heavy, and can hence cause fatigue.



    Wyss Institute researchers are pursuing a new paradigm: the use of soft clothing-like “exosuits”. An exosuit does not contain any rigid elements, so the wearer’s bone structure must sustain all the compressive forces normally encountered by the body — plus the forces generated by the exosuit. The suit, which is composed primarily of specially designed fabrics, can be significantly lighter than an exoskeleton since it does not contain a rigid structure, which provides minimal restrictions to the wearer’s motions and avoids problems related to joint misalignment. Optimized by insights from continuous research with voluntary study participants, soft exosuits excel at translating small amounts of force, applied by mechanical actuators in the suit at the right time into effective motions. In addition to soft exosuits that enhance the functionality of lower extremities, ongoing work at the Wyss is also developing prototypes that improve mobility of the upper extremities.

    Soft Robotic ExosuitPlay
    In this video, Harvard faculty member Conor Walsh and members of his team explain how the biologically inspired Soft Exosuit targets enhancing the mobility of healthy individuals and restoring the mobility of those with physical disabilities. Credit: Harvard’s Wyss Institute.
    The Wyss Institute has demonstrated the beneficial impact of ankle-assisting soft exosuit technology in stroke patients and is collaborating with ReWalk Robotics, Ltd, to accelerate the development of the Institute’s lightweight, wearable soft exosuit technologies for assisting people with lower limb disabilities. The agreement with ReWalk will help speed the design of assistive exosuits that could help patients suffering from stroke and multiple sclerosis to regain mobility”
    Last edited by Lazarus; 04-15-2019 at 03:58 AM.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Video is compelling. I wonder how many years it will be until it comes to market?

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Really exciting--I couldn't find any indication of when this technology will become available (or how much it will cost).

    I'm reminded of the cooling vest I have but hardly ever use. The main reason I don't use it is that the weight of it makes it almost so hot and tiring to wear that the cooling effect is almost cancelled out. And of course I have to load it up with the chilled gelpacks and put it on though that has been made as easy as possible by the way it's designed.

    I wonder if the exosuit might be warm and heavy to wear too.

    Also, I'm guessing that it will be costly and not covered by insurance. The general feeling seems to be that if people with chronic neurological conditions like MS have trouble with daily activities, at least we're alive and should be very glad about that.
    Last edited by agate; 04-15-2019 at 01:18 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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  7. #4
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    I had a cooling vest also Agate and I gave mine away. It just wasn't worth what I had to go through to put in the jell packs and get it own. I found it cumbersome.
    Virginia

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