Clinical tests indicate positive results from new exoskeletons for motor-impaired persons
Spinal cord injuries can lead to impaired movement in the lower body. Recently, researchers have been working on an innovative way of treating spinal cord injuries and hence restoring partial movement. The new strategy introduces so-called assistive exoskeletons that help to activate the neuromuscular system, which is believed to improve motor recovery. In order to be successful, exoskeletons must be responsive to both the user and the environment – an ambitious goal.
The EU-funded FET project Symbitron has recently presented its results, as it develops a safe, personalised, wearable exoskeleton that is inspired by how the body itself works. “Our main aim was to enable patients with spinal cord injuries to walk without additional assistance, by working with their remaining motor functions,″ says project coordinator Professor Herman van der Kooij.
To test the safety and functionality of their solution, the Symbitron consortium created a training environment and training protocols for patients and their doctors.
Cover image by Esther Tuttle on Unsplash
Research projects in this story
The goal of the Symbitron project is the development of personalized wearable exoskeleton for motor-impaired people. These complement the patient’s remaining motor functions to let people walk without further assistance. The project also designs training environments and protocols for patients and their doctors.