New Under-the-Clothing Exoskeleton Could Ease Up Walking

Robotic exoskeletons that currently available in the market are mobile robots that are wearable in the front or center. These robots are supportive robot tech just like LG’s SuitBot that are easily noticeable.  The visibility of the exosuits is not an issue as its major goal is to help lift heavy loads and reduce strain put on humans. It is just like a uniform worn for particular work.  Recently, the scientists have thought of building a supportive tech for a daily life purpose such as giving the elderly people a hand in chores like walking or even helping the impaired. The current designed lightweight alternative can be worn inside the clothing on a daily basis. The mechanical engineering researchers from Vanderbilt University developed a new ankle exoskeleton to help people walk without fatiguing and function similar to natural motion.

The spring-powered exosuit is an unmotorized, soft exoskeleton that can reduce stress laid on a person’s calf muscles when walking. The tool works on the new under-the-foot clutch mechanism and it also has an extension spring acting parallel to the calf muscles of the user. When walking the certain forces that generally pass through the muscles are redirected towards the spring for reducing the muscle stress and power to walk. The device contains no components, batteries, and motors making it the first ankle exoskeleton to function using muscle force under the clothing.

The test on the humans has proved successful and the prototype is all ready to commercialize owing to its efficiency in reducing the load on the calf muscles and in turn support natural ankle function with appreciable speed. The people with disabilities or even the elderly group along with the other audiences are in complete woo for the technology. The researchers are currently working towards commercializing mechanized clothing. The Chalmers University of Technology researchers along with Swedish School of Textiles and Swerea IVF colleagues developed a fabric with the capability of converting kinetic energy into electric power. The more the load is applied to the textile and the more sweaty it gets generating a higher amount of electricity.

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