Exoskeleton instead of a wheelchair
At the moment, there’s a wide range of rehabilitation aids available for people with impaired mobility: diverse walkers, light and robust crutches, tons of various wheelchairs. All of them have certain flaws and weaknesses. For instance, state-of-the-art wheelchairs make it possible to go in for sports, travel at a rather high speed, and are user-friendly, but all of those aspects wouldn’t matter for a person who lives in the 3rd floor in a house without an elevator.
To take the people with impaired mobility back to full-fledged life, scientists decided to build a universal and multifunctional device. They gathered detailed data on all existing rehabilitation aids, analysed their pros and cons, and used the conclusions in their efforts, which resulted in origination of an exoskeleton. What benefits does it offer versus other rehabilitation aids?
For one, exoskeleton enables to independently walk, squat, rise, walk on stairs and inclinations, turn or even stand on one leg. In other words, it makes it possible to walk, travel, use public transport, get to the required floor, take care of oneself and live a full life, whereby a person’s hands are free for work, hobby or household routine.
Here’s another drastic distinction: the exoskeleton can help even to people with totally injured spinal cord, i.e. those who couldn’t previously use even the wheelchair are now able to walk.
How long can one walk in it? Virtually, all the day through. The exoskeleton is fixed on the waist and on legs, in several locations. The scientists succeeded in making convenient fasteners that cause no discomfort even if worn permanently. Unlike crutches, an exoskeleton does not injure shoulder joints.
Finally, cutting-edge technologies enable to produce batteries that can run continuously for several hours without recharging. It means one can freely go for a walk in the park, pop to a café or a shop with a single battery charge! That was just a dream some 10 back from now, whereas today this is an enabled reality.
The exoskeleton clearly makes living more comfortable and opens up new opportunities. Most importantly, such a device is likewise useful from the medical point of view. Its major function is to hold the body of a person who cannot even stand by on his /her own upright. This helps improve the functions of the cardiorespiratory system and lung ventilation, brings arterial pressure back to normal. A person starts moving more, hence keeping his or her body toned; regular walking precludes atrophy of muscular and bone tissues, increases joint mobility. Ultimately, the mobile way of life that becomes possible with the exoskeleton contributes to proper functioning of the digestion and urinary systems.
Needless to say that the exoskeleton invention marked a real breakthrough in medicine. The new device enabled the people with restricted mobility to pursue an active lifestyle, travel, care of themselves, do business, and make families without any physical discomfort. Quite a high price of exoskeleton now remains the only problem. Over the past few years, the leading doctors and developers from around the world have been engaged in inventing new, technically refined, and yet more affordable models so that any restricted mobility person could live a comfortable and full life.