EXOSKELETON TECHNOLOGY: THE NEXT GENERATION
Cutting edge technology being developed at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, is helping to get people moving with the help of exoskeleton technology.
An exoskeleton is a form of external robotic hardware which helps people move when it has been placed around the body.
However, the technology, even though it has actually been around for some time, has up until now been limited.
Until now, users have still needed to use crutches or walkers to keep their balance but, according to Professor Siamak Arzanpour, of Simon Fraser’ University’s Bio Mechatronic Systems Lab, the Exomotion is the most advanced exoskeleton yet developed. It is a wearable, motion generation, robotic, system for the lower limbs with a full range of motion for ankles and hips.
After three years and $500,000 spent creating the device, it is now ready to test on a person – and Professor Arzanpour will first test it himself.
The completed Exomotion will have sensors to maintain stability and balance, and the team is developing a lightweight battery pack to maximise fuel efficiency.
The team is optimistic the project could hit the market within two years and the next generation exoskeleton is expected to cost around $100,000.
If so, this cutting-edge technology could benefit the elderly and anyone with mobility issues, not only wheelchair users.
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