We have seen exoskeletons like the Honda Walker in the past that will help patients who have difficulty moving about to be able to get around without human help, and this time around, another effort from a research team headed by Assistant Professor Yu Haoyong at the National University of Singapore have come up with a robotic walker that intends to help physiotherapists out.
This robotic walker is a newly designed device, where it intends to improve the quality as well as the productivity of therapy sessions. In fact, it is said that the most important aspect of this particular machine would be its capability to allow the patient to practice walking on the ground, as opposed to doing so on a treadmill.
The kind of technology used would comprise of half a dozen different modules: namely an active body weight support unit; an omni-directional mobile platform; a pelvic and trunk motion support unit; a functional electrical stimulator; a variety of body sensors, and an easy-to-understand user interface. Body sensors will provide the relevant feedback on the patient’s gait, in order for the robot to make the necessary adjustments so that the entire gait of the patient would be a whole lot more normal. There is an electrical stimulation component that will deliver electrical current to spur leg muscles to move, and clinical studies are being planned at the National University Hospital in Singapore before the next step – commercialization, kicks in. [Press Release]