Robotics for mobility assistance

17 Apr

A mind-controlled exoskeleton piloted by a paralyzed person is scheduled to make the ceremonial opening kick at the World Cup this June. There is some skepticism in the article I linked, but it could bring the idea of assistive robotics to a huge audience.

There are a number of companies and research organizations working on robotic walking solutions, some seeing them as useful in rehabilitation therapy, to augment strength for healthcare, military, and manufacturing uses, or to replace a wheelchair.

HAL by Cyberdyne

HAL by Cyberdyne

I’ve embedded a couple of demonstration videos that focus on mobility below. This is of personal interest, since I’ve used a wheelchair and still use a cane when I’ll be walking for more than an hour, and I’d like to see a future where a supportive external device could keep me upright and mobile.  I’d much rather be on my own feet than in a medical scooter or chair, as long as possible.


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