Exoskeleton Device That Allows The Paralyzed to Walk Again
Technology is becoming more and more efficient and helpful. There are rumors of robots and computers taking over, and it’s a wonderful mystery of how the world will be affected by these technologies. One of the areas that are being dramatically changed by new technologies is the medical field. MIT Technology Review talks about the company Suit X’s device Exoskeleton, which is a robotic device, which allows people with paraplegia to walk again.How the Exoskeleton Device WorksAccording to MIT Technology Review, it’s been five years in the making, and despite the cost being $40,000, it’s a miracle to paralyzed people who want to walk again. The suit returns movements to users hips and knees with small motors attached to standard orthotics. Users can control the movement of each leg and walk up to 1.1 miles per hour pushing buttons integrated with a pair of crutches. It’s only 27 pounds and is the least expensive and lighter exoskeleton. This exoskeleton device is unique because it’s adjustable to the user's height. A battery pack is worn as a backpack and powers the exoskeleton for up to eight hours. There’s also an app to track a user's walking data. The CEO and founder of the exoskeleton Homayoon Kazerooni says “What it would do is postpone the secondary injuries due to sitting. It gives a better quality of life.”Creation of the Exoskeleton DeviceThe technology behind the exoskeleton began at the Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory at the University of California. The main goal is to build a version of the exoskeleton for children. Kazerooni wants to help with neurological disorders that need intensive walking training or risk losing their mobility. The device is also therapeutic for people who have suffered a stroke or other motor injuries.The Future of Exoskeleton Suit X is one of the companies that’s hoping to boost people’s interest in exoskeleton research. However, there are a few kinks that need to be smoothed out as they continue to update the functions of the device. They are battling with suits like the ReWalk, which costs $70,000 and weighs 50 pounds. According to MIT Technology Review Volker Bartenbach who’s an exoskeleton researcher at ETH Zurich says, “A combination of performance, price, and clinically proven benefits will give rise to the first widely adopted exoskeleton.” He’s also trying to excel the device so that the user recognizes it as a better alternative than the use of a wheelchair. Even though the exoskeleton device is not perfect, to people with paraplegia, who have always had a dream of walking again it’s a miracle in the making.