Students make a suit in which a paraplegic patient can walk unaided | Science

Students at TU Delft have developed a robotic suit that allows a spinal cord injured patient to walk again. In a previous example, the patient still needed crutches for balance, but this is no longer necessary.

The students call the exoskeleton the MARS VIII.

While walking, a kind of noise appeared earlier in the brain of the ‘pilot’. The students have now succeeded in removing this noise. For example, the driver can stop the robotic suit just by thinking about it.

In previous suits it was also necessary to use crutches to maintain balance. With MARCH VIII, this is no longer necessary. The spinal cord injured person can now, for example, hold his girlfriend’s hand, drink a coffee or throw a ball at his dog.

New sensors have also been added to the suit. As a result, the patient’s gait and posture are “smoother, more natural and more comfortable”. Also, the robot suit can better feel how it contacts the ground while walking.

Wat is een dwarslaesie?

Bij een dwarslaesie is het ruggenmerg beschadigd. Daardoor kunnen signalen vanuit de hersenen niet meer alle delen van het lichaam bereiken. Patiƫnten kunnen dan bijvoorbeeld hun benen niet meer voelen en bewegen.

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