Development in the technological world, makes walking one step closer
The drive to develop Exoskeletons for the people that need them
There has been much in the press recently about the new technology of Exoskeletons that we wanted to share some with our international friends.
On Tuesday 4th September as part of the Government’s legacy strategy for the Paralympic Games, potential investors from around the globe visited Stoke Mandeville Stadium to see the new technology available to aid both disabled and able-bodied people.
Pioneering technologies that could help patients’ rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville’ spinal injuries centre was the exhibitions main focus. On show was a bionic exoskeleton allowing people with spinal injuries to walk again during their rehab.
Nikki Emerson, a patient at the hospital and wheelchair user praised the treatment and said of the exoskeleton “It’s so cool, I didn’t expect it to feel normal at all, but it feels just like walking.”
A few days later an evening lecture was delivered by Dr. Amit Goffer at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Dr. Goffer is the inventor of the ‘ReWalk™’, a wearable, motorized exoskeleton suit, the first commercial available upright walking technology, enabling wheelchair users with lower-limb disabilities to stand, walk and even climb stairs.
Claire Lomas, was the first person to use the suit in the UK, and after only a few months of training completed the 2012 Virgin London Marathon. Quite an achievement as Lomas was left paralysed from the chest down following a horse riding accident in 2007.
Powered Exoskeletons may enable disabled individuals to carry out every day activities as well as more challenging athletic activities that require upright ambulation. The suit works by sensing shifts in the wearer’s balance, showing their desire to take a step forward, for example, which triggers the suit to mimic the response that the joints would have if they were not paralysed.
Sir Alan Collins, head of Olympic and Paralympic legacy who attended the exhibition at Stoke Mandeville Stadium summarised “The more we can drive the development of this technology the more we will help the economy and people that need the technology.”