People with genetic disorders, neurological injuries or simple aging can experience muscle weakness which affects their mobility and quality of life. Many of these individuals seek help form assistive devices to regain mobility and independence. These devices range from simple wheelchairs to more advanced exoskeletons and exosuits.
For assistive devices to be used in everyday life, they must provide help across activities of daily living (ADLs) in an unobtrusive manner.
Scientists in Switzerland have developed Myosuit, a soft, wearable device designed to provide continuous assistance at the hip and knee joint when working with and against gravity in ADLs. This assistive device supports people with muscle weakness, including people with myopathy, stroke patients, spinal cord injury, or just elderly who are just too weak to move and climb stairs for example.
This robotic device is a combination of active and passive elements with a closed-loop force controller designed to behave like an external muscle (exomuscle) and deliver gravity compensation to the user. It is one of the lightest untethered devices (weighing only 4.6 kg with batteries) capable of delivering support to the wearer’s knee and hip joints.
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