SOFT EXOSUIT: a next generation soft wearable robots

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The SOFT EXOSUIT is a next generation soft wearable robots using innovative textiles developed at the University of Harvard’s Biodesign Laboratory. Designed for people who are not paralyzed (but have difficulties in moving), this device acts in the leg muscles and not in the joints.

You know about the exoskeleton already? That is a metal structure wrapping around your legs wich allows, thanks to its motors and sensors, to replicate the movements of the walk. A now well documented device, such as the ReWalk.

Its soft version, the Soft Exosuit, is now being studied in the laboratory of Biodesign of Harvard University. Its peculiarity? The structure is not rigid, but simply in tissue.

A different materials, a different users.

The Soft exosuit is not headed to paraplegics, but is designed for patients who suffer from muscle weakness or from physical or neurological disorders. Its role? The assistance to walk.

Without rigid parts, its benefits are obvious: its weight and agility. The wearer’s joints are unconstrained by external rigid structures, and the worn part of the suit is extremely light facilitating the walk in a natural way.

Its sheath made of elastic fabric contains less sophisticated sensors than those of the metallic exoskeleton and, therefore, less expensive. Its price should be more affordable than the traditional one.

Being still a prototype, we need to check if it might be used by patients with CMT, but that is an interesting experiment, the development of which we should monitor.

FOR MORE INFORMATION :

http://biodesign.seas.harvard.edu/soft-exosuits

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