Header Ads

World's first child-sized exoskeleton for kids and it's designed to grow up alongside them

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) introduces the world’s first infant exoskeleton which is designed to help children with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative illness which affects one in ten thousand babies in Spain. Weighing 12 kilos, the apparatus is made of aluminium and titanium, and is designed to help patients walk- in some cases for the first time. Furthermore, it will also be used in physiotherapy in hospitals to prevent the secondary effects associated with the loss of mobility in this illness. The technology, which has been patented and licensed jointly by CSIC (the Spanish National Research Council) and its technology-based business unit, Marsi Bionics, is currently in the preclinical phase.

Because SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) causes a loss of motor neurons, the patient's body starts to wither away to the point where many child patients end up bedridden and unable to walk. Built from aluminum and titanium, the 26-pound machine uses five assistive motors in each leg to actually help the child keep active and avoid further complications from immobility.

Those leg motors include sensors to detect "the slightest intention of movement," and an onboard computer then follows the child's steps to create the smoothest mechanical gait possible. Because children are constantly growing and moving, the whole setup is designed with telescoping supports that get taller with the patient.

CSIC's "smart" approach is similar to the algorithm that SRI Ventures recently built into the Superflex soft exosuit, and with a little tweaking the algorithm could probably help extend the CISC suit's five-hour battery life. Finally, the CISC is currently testing the exoskeleton with three child volunteers in Madrid and Barcelona, but in the U.S., Harvard engineers have teamed up with ReWalk Robotics to test and eventually market a similar, soft exosuit designed for adults with limited mobility.

In this article: CSIC
En Twitter: https://twitter.com/CSIC
En Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CSIC/
En Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/csic/?hl=es

No comments

blogmytuts. Powered by Blogger.