backtop


Print 13 comment(s) - last by geddarkstorm.. on Dec 20 at 2:49 PM


Ekso in action  (Source: kesslerfoundation.org)
The Kessler Foundation tested the Ekso exoskeleton on six individuals restricted to a wheelchair

Standing and walking may soon become part of daily life again for those restricted to wheelchairs thanks to the Kessler Foundation and Ekso Bionics' robotic exoskeleton "Ekso."

The Kessler Foundation, one of the largest public charities supporting those with disabilities, along with exoskeleton creator Ekso Bionics, announced in mid October that they had chosen six participants for the testing of their exoskeleton "Ekso," which is a battery-powered, robotic exoskeleton that can be worn by a disabled individual like a suit. It then allows the person to stand up or walk again.

While Ekso Bionics supplies the exoskeleton, Kessler Foundation and the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation research the science behind the disability and work on the body through retraining of the nervous system via locomotor training, epidural stimulation and more.

“By studying various forms of treatment for paralysis, we identify what course of action works best for each individual,” said Dr. Gail Forrest, Ph.D., Interim Director of Human Performance and Movement Analysis Research at Kessler Foundation. “Robotic technology adds another dimension to rehabilitation by simulating a normal walking pattern. We’ve seen that repetitive motion retrains the nervous system so that individuals, in some cases, redevelop walking patterns, but regular movement also prevents secondary complications of paralysis, including cardiac and lung weakness, poor bone density and pressure ulcers. Quality of life drastically improves.”

After participating in one week of preliminary testing back in October, the six participants were able to show researchers what is needed in order to conduct a successful clinical trial, which is expected to begin in January 2012. For instance, researchers will have a better idea of how to select participants with spinal cord injuries for the trial.

Five of the patients have paraplegia, and the sixth has quadriplegia. They ranged in duration of injury from four months to two years, and were ages 27 to 45.

Below is a video that shares the six participants' experiences during the one-week preliminary testing:



Ekso is only used in a rehabilitation environment for now, but researchers plan to extend the exoskeleton to home and community use in 2013.

Exoskeleton's are not only being used for rehabilitative purposes, but also in military settings. Just last year, Lockheed Martin introduced the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC), which is a full suit that can be worn by soldiers in order to evade attacks, effortlessly lift objects up to 200 lbs, and weather the elements with ease.

Sources: Kessler Foundation, Eurekalert



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Although Not Cutting Edge This Is Still Sweet
By th3pwn3r on 12/16/2011 10:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Exoskeleton's are not only being used for rehabilitative purposes, but also in military settings. Just last year, Lockheed Martin introduced the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC), which is a full suit that can be worn by soldiers in order to evade attacks, effortlessly lift objects up to 200 lbs, and weather the elements with ease."

C'mon, only 200lbs? I don't need a darn exoskeleton to do that with ease. Of course the average joe probably needs help. Anyhow, I'm wondering if this will be something only the very wealthy can afford, most likely. Hopefully they'll be able to shrink this down as well, looks a bit too bulky at the moment. I'm a bit too lazy to do research at the moment so I'd imagine they're using only titanium and carbon fiber for the construction?




By The Raven on 12/16/2011 10:37:46 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
C'mon, only 200lbs? I don't need a darn exoskeleton to do that with ease. [...] I'm a bit too lazy to do research...
You should let them study your body...not so much your brain ;-)
I'm just kidding bro... please don't crush me :-O
<slips into exoskeleton>
Yeah that's right: you are of a lesser intellegence than me!! Ha ha ha!!


RE: Although Not Cutting Edge This Is Still Sweet
By tng on 12/16/2011 11:49:42 AM , Rating: 3
Really what will hold these back for almost any application is the power source. Just like an electric car, if there was a power source that could provide more energy for a much longer period of time, you would see these in many applications, but battery power limits the independence of these units from the get go.


By Mint on 12/17/2011 1:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I'm working on this technology:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/19/eveningn...

These damn robots better not take over my industry! j/k


By Amiga500 on 12/17/2011 7:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
C'mon, only 200lbs? I don't need a darn exoskeleton to do that with ease.


ha ha ha.

You lift 90 kgs and carry it long distances without tiring?

[/facepalm]


My word, science can be beautiful
By geddarkstorm on 12/16/2011 2:24:18 PM , Rating: 3
This is the stuff that just brings a smile to my face. Think of it, an age where paralysis is no longer a life sentence of immobility, no longer a condemnation to not being able to enjoy the simple functional activities the rest of us can. But instead, with an exosuit, a person can walk and run, and live life freely in the physical sense.

Heck, we're working on tactile feedback, so eventually we may even be able to give these suits a synthetic skill and let people where spinal injury to actually feel again, as well as move.

It is so exciting. I can't wait to see where this technology goes, and how fast.




RE: My word, science can be beautiful
By The Raven on 12/16/2011 3:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is truely nice to have this as an alternative to stem cell research with the same application. I'm not favoring one over the other but should we hit a delay or dead end on either front, there still might be hope for those in need.


By geddarkstorm on 12/20/2011 2:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
This at least has wider application than stem cell, as there'll always be rejection and cancer issues, let alone improper or incomplete regeneration. Stem cell will be like any other drug therapeutic, where it works great for some and not at all that well for others. This can bridge the gap for those "not as well" folks.

Personally, I prefer the regenerative medicine, ala stem cells--but anything is better than being left immobilized from paralysis.


Frosted Mini Wheats
By The Raven on 12/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: Frosted Mini Wheats
By Breathless on 12/16/2011 12:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Wars will always happen no matter who is in power. Get used to the idea that freedom will always have its cost (blood and life), whether we attack someone first for a justified or unjustified reason, or whether they do the same to us. You are the only one that is "ruining this good news".


RE: Frosted Mini Wheats
By The Raven on 12/16/2011 3:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
That makes no sense whatsoever. We have to be at war to be free? I think you must be thinking of...
quote:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure. -Thomas Jefferson- (emphasis added)

Yes war is needed, nay, unavoidable from time to time. Do we need to go sniffing around for it? No.

If you seriously can read this and not think of those fighting right now then you need to pick up a news paper and get with the times. We are a country at war whether you want to bury your head in this good news or not.


RE: Frosted Mini Wheats
By Breathless on 12/16/2011 3:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about dude, you just made my point.

You say:

"That makes no sense whatsoever. We have to be at war to be free?"

Then you say:

"Yes war is needed, nay, unavoidable from time to time"

Boom, my point - made. I never said nor implied we need to go sniffing around for it, I just said it was going to happen and was unavoidable. You are turning an inspirational article about paraplegics into "sighh.... but, but, our war mongering overlords will..."


RE: Frosted Mini Wheats
By The Raven on 12/16/2011 7:10:14 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, when I posted I forgot that the emphasis would blend in. I should have put it on my words instead of Tommy's.

The emphasis was on "FROM TIME TO TIME". These damn politicians taking us into Libya, Iraq or wherever is what pisses me off. We have been actively at war with Afghanistan (or at least some crazies there) for over ten years. Before that it was...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_casualt...

Does this sound like "from time to time" to you? When these words were uttered it was as justification from breaking free from some "tyrants". Not for chasing some deranged fanatics around the globe.

So what I meant is that we must go to war 'from time to time,' but it makes no sense that we have to BE at war to be free.

And to be clear, if this article wouldn't have mentioned the military application I wouldn't have thought much about it or at least enough to comment on the fact.

But you are right, I actually am the one who is ruining this story... because I (though not alone) am responsible for my gov't's actions.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki