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New Exosuit Project to Assist Those with Mobility Challenges

As part of the Hackaday Prize competition, a team has put forward its exosuit and walker combination that assists physically challenged people.

New Exosuit Project to Assist Those with Mobility Challenges
Walker and exosuit Alex M. Sunny/Hackaday

Be it from old age, injuries, or from birth, having mobility issues can tremendously impact your day to day life. Depending on caregivers is not always an option, so it's always welcome when teams of designers, engineers, and medical workers put their heads together to come up with solutions. 

One such solution is exosuits, which assist in moving the physically challenged. 

A team has come up with a new design called the "Open Exosuit for Differently Abled", which incorporates an exoskeleton suit and a walker. The design has been entered in the Hackaday Prize 2020.

SEE ALSO: ELDERLY IN JAPAN ARE WEARING EXOSKELETONS TO KEEP WORKING PAST RETIREMENT AGE

Getting people back on their feet

The Open Exosuit for Differently Abled project stands out as it combines both a walker and an exosuit in order to help people get back on their feet, and placing one in front of the other. 

Having the walker adds more stability to the contraption, as well as sending commands to the exosuit to better understand where the person using it wants to go and what they want to do.

The incorporated O-LED screen display and four buttons on the walker enable the person to select what they want to do next: walk, sit, stand, and switching the system on and off. 

As you'll see from the diagram below, the walker sends signals to the exosuit, which then moves the person forward.

New Exosuit Project to Assist Those with Mobility Challenges
Diagram explaining how the exoskeleton and walker are combined, Source: Hackaday

Meant for people who suffer from weakness in their muscles or lack of control, the project would enable them to have a little more independence and control over their movements without the complete assistance of a caregiver. Moreover, it would provide support in the road to recovery and muscle strengthening. 

The project is not yet entirely primed and polished as the Hackaday Prize 2020 deadline has just under two more weeks before final entries are posted. 

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