Hardvard’s Wyss Institute Partners with ReWalk Robotics to Develop ‘Soft Exosuit’ for Consumer Market
The video below shows the soft exosuit circa 2014 in development at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Fast-forward a couple years and now they’re partnering with ReWalk Robotics to bring the suit to the consumer market, specifically aimed for ‘patients with limited mobility.’ In the U.S. this translates to possible assistance for as many as 400,000 multiple sclerosis patients, among other disabilities.
The soft exosuit – which is a soft wearable robot that is the first of its kind – was developed at the Wyss Institute by Walsh and his team through extensive prototyping that included the involvement of roboticists, mechanical and biomechanical engineers, apparel designers, and software engineers. Walsh’s collaborators also include Terry Ellis and Ken Holt, both faculty members at Boston University’s Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training.
“What makes the soft exosuit’s development so unique is the extreme multi-disciplinary nature of the work. In addition to our varied technical expertise as a team, our research with voluntary study participants has been central to our understanding of how we need to design and build these exosuits”, said Kathleen O’Donnell, who has been leading the team at the Wyss Institute with Walsh. Over the course of its development, the soft exosuit has been the catalyst for entirely new forms of functional textiles, flexible power systems and control strategies that integrate the suit and its wearer in ways that mimic the natural biomechanics of the human musculoskeletal system.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.