Matt Borgatti’s been working with soft robotics for some time now, and his latest video demonstrates a soft-to-semirigid transforming elbow cuff using pressurized air called the Neucuff:
The Neucuff is a soft robotic exoskeleton that’s worn on the elbow just like any athletic elbow pad. It has inflating elements that become rigid as they’re pressurized, applying force evenly across the arm. This video features Super-Releaser lead scientist Matthew Borgatti explaining how his company’s new prototype, the Neucuff, may help patients with Cerebral Palsy regain control over their limbs. It was filmed at Super-Releaser’s Brooklyn lab by Solomon Israel.
Orthotic exoskeletons (medical robots that attach to your body) can be powerful tools for rehabilitation and offer chronic movement disorder sufferers the freedom and independence of an able bodied person. Unfortunately these can be expensive, difficult to use, and uncomfortable. Given the power they have to apply to mobilize a joint, small imperfections in the fit and orientation of the exoskeleton can result in serious injuries. This means that most devices have to be fit to the patient with the help of a prosthetist over the course of multiple visits. For growing children this means many expensive robots and doctor’s visits as their bodies change proportion over the years. I believe there’s another way to think about exoskeletons that could completely eliminate these problems.
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