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Personal Exoskeletons for Paraplegics

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Exoskeletons–wearable, motorized machines that can assist a person’s movements–have largely been confined to movies or military use, but recent advances might soon bring the devices to the homes of people with paralysis.

So far, exoskeletons have been used to augment the strength of soldiers or to help hospitalized stroke patients relearn how to walk. Now researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have demonstrated an exoskeleton that is portable and lets paraplegics walk in a relatively natural gait with minimal training. That could be an improvement for people with spinal-cord injuries who spend a lot of time in wheelchairs, which can cause sores or bone deterioration.

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Posted by on September 25, 2010 in Medicine, Technology

 

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