A new robotic exoskeleton based on a military design will help paraplegics walk once again on their own two legs.
The eLegs system can remove the persistent presence of the word “no” — a word with which paraplegics have become all too familiar, according to the Berkeley Bionics project’s CEO, a man named Eythor Bender.
If you think you can’t motivate the kids to put down the Sega or whatever it is they’re playing with these days, Japanese robotics manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai would beg to differ. The company that created the Landwalker bi-pedal exoskeleton has created a five-and-a-quarter-foot exoskeleton just for the kiddies that is sure to captivate even the most technophobic youngster, assuming such a thing exists.
By Gregory MonePosted 09.20.2007 at 12:31 pm 1 Comment
MIT engineers have developed a robotic exoskeleton that transfers most of the weight of a backpack straight to the ground. The add-on carries 80 percent of the load, and could prove beneficial for soldiers carrying heavy packs.
In the long run, Hugh Herr, the leader of the research group, also hopes the technology could evolve into assistive devices that could help anyone. Someone with a disability could use them to walk normally, for example. This sort of work has been done before, but the MIT team managed to develop a device that swallows much less power, and is therefore much closer to being practical. For now, they're focused in part on engineering it to allow for a more natural gait. —Gregory Mone