Mobility technology takes many forms, from bespoke vehicles to the latest scooters and exoskeletons. The technology is rapidly advancing to give people with physical disabilities greater freedom and access.
The capabilities of wearable robotic exoskeletons, such as those developed by Rewalk, are improving all the time. They are becoming more user friendly and with increased functionality, they are changing the lives of people who have suffered spinal injuries, enabling them to use their paralyzed limbs once more. The technology can be used in the rehabilitation process, assisting with exercise and therapy, as well as personal use, giving greater freedom in everyday life.
It provides the power to walk using servos in the hips and knees and utilises accelerometers to detect when a user shifts their weight signalling that they are ready to take the next step. The team behind the device are working on upgrades all the time and finding new ways to make the exoskeleton more ergonomic, slimmed down and comfortably fitted to the user’s body.
While wearing a wristwatch-like controller, the user is able to control the suit to sit, stand, walk and enter stair mode, capable of both ascending & descending stairs. This increased mobility helps with rehabilitation and investigations are currently underway to see if it improves muscle mass, bone density, digestive function, circulation, and other systems in people with paralysis. It has been reported that using the system decreases muscle spasms and in some instances alleviates the need for prescription pain relief. From user feedback improvements are being made all the time, with each version giving more freedom and enabling people to enjoy their lives more thoroughly.[img src: MegaGadget, ReWalk]