Robot exoskeletons march in to link mind and body

The prosthetic exoskeleton sits bolt upright in a chair, looking as if a robot has stood up, walked away and left part of itself behind. Roughly three minutes later Kevin Oldt is strapped into the metal frame and ready to stand. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, stretching his arms away from his body like a high diver about to take a plunge. Except Oldt holds a crutch in each hand, and when it’s go time he pushes upward with his powerful arms. The exoskeleton’s four electric motors kick in with a low whir, straightening Oldt’s lower body as he steadies himself with the crutches.

Once Oldt is standing, a physical therapist checks the exoskeleton’s settings on a digital screen connected to its back support, and gives him the okay. Oldt takes a few steps, looks up and says, “I’m learning how to walk all over again.”

Read the full article on Scientific American.

Posted: Oct. 16, 2016