ReWalk suit for paraplegics


We here at Hack a Day are really interested in power suits, so the ReWalk suit for paraplegics immediately caught our attention. By using unique robotic control algorithms, the suit works with the user rather than for the user. This allows the user to experience the sensation of walking autonomously and a chance at a normal life. Argo, the design company, also claims that a suit like this will end up saving the user money considering the high price of medical and transportation equipment. The core design is not entirely new. It has a batterypack and DC motors placed at the joints. The wearer uses crutches and the sensors and software monitor upper body movement to predict when and where the user wants to move their leg.

[via Medgadget]

Comments

  1. tony says:

    Congrats to Argo if that works as well as the video would have you believe. This is the kind of technology we should be exploring. Not sophisticated weapons systems to destroy life.

  2. Ben Wade says:

    Congratulations to Argo. I hope, if it works as advertised, that they make a LOT of money. About the earlier comment, while I want war to end as much as the next person, paradoxically it was probably war money and the needs of war, that got this thing designed and produced.

  3. Mark 101 says:

    needs voice recognition of “stairs” “walk” “sit”.
    also the computer inside the segway with the gyro gadget that lets the machine know where up and down is.

  4. Rewalk is definitely an improvement on powerchairs, but it’d be nice if you didn’t have walk as a quadruped.

  5. dinK3r says:

    super! i too agree with tony! “This is the kind of technology we should be exploring. Not sophisticated weapons systems to destroy life.”

  6. durden says:

    I want a set of these legs… I’m not in a wheel char but walking to the fridge is getting old.

  7. MRE says:

    I remember a star trek the next generation episode in which a one episode charactor had to use a device almost exactly like this, for essentially the same reasons.
    For once, it looks like reality beat fantasy by about 300 years.

  8. beesknees says:

    Looks like a great product but it would be nice to see the controller built into one of the handles on the crutches instead of mounted on the wrist. Seems awkward every time the user stops and changes the mode by pushing a button on his opposite wrist. Thumb controls on the crutches would allow more fluid use.

  9. s says:

    The driving bit reminds me of a steven wright joke;
    ‘I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.’
    What if you run out of batteries on the freeway?

  10. mikey g says:

    @ the war comments: greatest times of innovation = times when there is a common enemy (soviet union, nazi germany, et cetera). times of greatest stagnation = times without an enemy (fall of soviet union, post WWI before WWII, et cetera). i guess the bush administration was trying to give us an enemy… they succeeded, but it was them we vilified. the irony!

  11. Robert W says:

    Re the driving thing, I would expect that he’s driving a modified (ie no foot controls) vehicle, it’s just that he doesn’t have to get in to / out of a wheelchair to do so

  12. TechBender says:

    This is absolutely incredible.

    And the car was driven by hand controls. No way they’d let a paraplegic drive with their legs… then again, it’s probably not something that comes up often at traffic stops.

  13. Not once did I see: “At the Beach/Pool.”

    All joking aside, this is an amazing feat in both the health care industry as well we the mechanical field.

  14. tReg says:

    If the remote control is wireless, I hope it has decent encryption… (mmm, now I just remember about this Wallace and Grommit movie with the pingoo)

  15. FiSH says:

    right on 101, a gyro system could eliminate the crutches.

  16. demie says:

    “on the road”

    !!!

    he was parked on the curb! what about the pedestrians?

  17. Mike says:

    Since you have batteries and a computer on board, why not have wheels on the bottom of the suit, kind of like roller skates but bigger ? So for long, flat distances you could roll or skate, or have the computer create “undular” motion to slither you efficiently across flat surfaces.

    The wheels could be bigger than normal roller blades, so they wouldn’t get caught up on stuff as easily and could go over small bumps with ease.

    A computer would control a servo inside each axle of each wheel, so on stairs, for instance, the wheels would lock up and you would be in “walk mode” so there would be no danger of slipping. The wheels would be solid pads that helped you navigate carpet, stairs, or rough surfaces.

    Rolling on wheels would still allow you to be erect, but not use as much battery as “walking”. Plus you could go over small puddles using the wheels to clear the water..

  18. Boni34 says:

    i agree with beesknees, thumb controls would be much more logical.

    regarding the gyro suggestion- i believe Argo haven’t installed one due to the size and weight issue. a gyro would make the device much bigger and heavier, thus more clumsy.

    overall this technology is revoloutionary and will be life changing for many many people!good work Argo

  19. jordan=] says:

    this technology is amazing. something like this probably wouldnt have been invented by now, its very advanced for our time.

    really the only thing that is bad about this is that if your paralyzed from the waist up you cant use it. they wouldnt be able to move their arms and push the controls.

    the creator of ReWalk cant even use it because he cant use his arms.

  20. Crompton says:

    The Govt should fund such innovations so that they develop more such stuff which would b helpful for teh poor and needy.

    Do check this article…it’s awesome!!!

    http://www.itmagz.com/admin/issuepdf/Bionics.pdf

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