DEC 18, 2015 6:48 AM PST

Bionic Exoskeleton Help Paraplegics Take New Steps

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Since 2005, Ekso Bionics' wearable computerized "exoskeleton" suit has helped wheelchair-bound individuals take over 20 million steps that would otherwise would have been impossible. Complete with weight-activated sensors and battery-powered motors, the suit provides external support and replicates natural muscle movements. Users are able to walk by shifting their weight and activating the weight sensors, which initiate step-like movements.

As the suits become even more lightweight and the battery life is extended further, Ekso founder Russ Angold hopes the bionic suit could replace the wheelchair all together. Currently the FDA has approved of one similar computerized exoskeleton device, the ReWalk. However, one big limitation for both bionic suits is the need of arm control for balance. With more tinkering and breakthroughs though, a bionic suit for quadriplegics may also be a reality one day.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JAN 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
JAN 08, 2021
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
Comedy-news shows such as those by Trevor Noah, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee on the rise and are especially popular amo ...
FEB 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
FEB 10, 2021
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
Recurrent slope lineae (RSL) are dark flows that extend downhill on Mars to form sandy patterns on its surface. Research ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
MAY 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
MAY 21, 2021
Alien Radioactive Element Discovered on Earth for First Time
  Researchers from Australian National University have discovered the first ever extraterrestrial radioactive isoto ...
JUN 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
JUN 05, 2021
Washington State University Opens Cannabis Research Center
Washington State University (WSU) has announced the opening of a multi-disciplinary research center with nearly 100 scie ...
Loading Comments...