Exoskeleton X1, NASA technology applied to people with paralysis
The Exoskeletons are mechanical shells that are placed on the arms, legs and back of a person with the idea to help you perform certain movements or heavy workloads, a practical application of robotics we have seen applied in the military (for soldiers can carry heavier loads) and in the field of medicine to allow people who suffer from some form of paralysis walk again or move his arms . The truth is that this type of system has great potential and, in fact, is something that has also been exploring the inside NASA Robonaut 2 project to the point of developing the X1 , an exoskeleton designed for astronauts to exercise your legs in weightless conditions that also could be used on Earth to help walk people suffering some paralysis .
The X1 is an exoskeleton of 18 kilograms and 10 degrees of freedom of movement that was developed by NASA and the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Florida with a double function: first, it provides the wearer resistance to the movement of his legs, an ideal effect for exercising the muscles of astronauts in weightlessness (since they are forced to work out) but on the other hand, their engines can be used to help a person to walk if you have some paralysis which prevents its movement.
This dual role, especially its practical application on Earth, is quite interesting and is another example of the benefits that space exploration reverts humanity, including the practical application of robotics (within the Robonaut project). Anyway, we still can not launch from the rooftops because the project is experimental and is in a phase of development with a view to assess the possibilities of the system (go concentrates on the design) and on improving technology, also between features that are to be developed is user monitoring, in the case of an astronaut, you can follow from the ground control the evolution of the exercises and measure the effectiveness of training-exercise plan.
Combining 4 and 6 passive motorized joints, the X1 is able to impede the movement or facilitate it, a rather interesting contraption that hopefully comes to fruition and can make life easier for many people.
Images: NASATags: Exoskeletons, NASA, Robonaut 2, robotics, Video, X1