robotics

Conor Walsh or the Walk of the Robots

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By combining technical textiles and robotics, Irish biomedical engineer Conor Walsh and his team of specialists at the Harvard Biodesign Lab are revolutionizing the rehabilitation of stroke patients through the Exosuit.
 
It is not a question of replacing existing rehabilitation methods; this new tool above all allows them to be diversified and to accelerate their effects. "Conor Walsh
 
Cach year, 15 million people suffer a stroke. Five million of them have to learn to walk again, but this rehabilitation can be long, painful and costly. Conor Walsh is determined to change that. To accelerate and facilitate rehabilitation, the MIT professor, an associate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and his team of engineers, computer scientists, clothing designers, clinicians and neuroscientists at Harvard University are creating robots that can be worn like clothes.
 
Lightweight, made of elastic fibres and mechanized, theExosuite teaches injured nerves, muscles, tendons and joints to regain their function. Powerful miniature motors, pulleys, cables, motion sensors and intelligent software help the patient to walk by gently correcting their movements, encouraging a natural gait. In addition to stroke patients, this invention could also help people with reduced mobility, such as patients with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or the elderly.
 
 
Conor Walsh had already developed and tested rigid exoskeletons on himself, but at Harvard he was inspired by his colleagues who had expertise in soft materials : "I immediately understood that a comfortable, softer, lighter suit that would accompany the right movements without overwhelming its wearer could be the source of many applications in the biomedical field. »
 
 
Through its partnerships with the Wyss Institute at Harvard and the biomedical company ReWalk, theExosuite The flexible system is expected to be ready for commercialization within three years. It has just won the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise 2016. (1).
 
(1) More than 40 years ago, Rolex created the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, a groundbreaking philanthropic initiative designed to help visionaries who are determined to do their utmost to improve life on Earth. The awards are presented every two years and support innovative projects in three areas: environment, applied science and technology, and exploration. For the 2018 edition, five Young Laureates, aged between 18 and 30, will each receive 100,000 Swiss francs.
 

 

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