ADSactly Tech News - Exoskeleton Technology and its Use in the Modern World!

in #exoskeleton4 years ago

ADSactly Tech News: Exoskeleton Technology and its Use in the Modern World!

Image Source: Cyberdyne

Imagine the feeling of giving someone back their ability to walk, to run, to jump and to climb after they had lost it or potentially never really had these abilities in the first place...

Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to give someone the gift of mobility again after they had lost it?

We often take things like the ability to walk or run for granted. Many of us simply achieved this ability at a young age and never gave it a second thought about what a gift it truly is...

In this article I will discuss the technological improvements made in the field of exoskeleton technology as of late. We have entered a new age in which robotic exoskeletons are being used to help patients learn to walk again. They are being used in the workplace to give workers relief in factory and warehouse jobs and other applications that are still being developed.

One of the most useful application for this technology was described in an article I recently read entitled 'Robotic exoskeleton helps patients learn to walk again' published by The Columbus Dispatch in early March 2018.

This article featured a man named David Evans who had lost his ability to walk although admittedly he had no doubt as to whether he would ever be able to walk again. The determination was there, he just needed a bit of help to reach his goal.

In November 2017 David woke up in a hospital unable to move his legs. In March thanks to the help of a new high tech exoskeleton model he was already making progress in rehabilitating his ability to walk again.

David Evans moved slowly and deliberately down a hallway at the OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, getting help not just from physical therapists but also from a new robotic device designed to give him the support and assistance needed to take step after step after step. The February session marked just the second time Evans had walked since the November morning he awoke unable to move his legs.

“They asked me what my goal was when I left here, and I said ‘to regain the use of my legs.’ So it’s gonna happen,” Evans said as he sat in a wheelchair after the exoskeleton was removed. “This machine has helped me.”

Evans is just a single example of someone exoskeleton technology has helped. Their usefulness in rehabilitating patients who have lost their ability to walk can't be praised enough.


Image Source: Eric Albrecht / Dispatch

In fact rehabilitation centers in the United States will be getting an upgrade this year. Japan's long-awaited Cyberdyne exoskeleton legs capable of bringing back mobility to patients who have lost their ability to walk have finally been approved for patients in the United States.

Apparently the Cyberdyne HAL wearable robotic exoskeleton has been available for nearly a decade. However, it takes a long time to get medical procedures and new devices approved in the United States so there is quite a bit of red tape holding back progress in different sectors of healthcare.

According to Cyberdyne the HAL is essentially a pair of legs exclusively approved for temporary medical use. What this means is that the device isn't made for people who are totally paralyzed, they're for rehabilitation.

Today, the Japanese company's mechanical legs are officially available at the new Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center in Jacksonville, Florida -- with plans to bring the FDA-approved device to spinal cord injury patients at hospitals across the US.

The "Medical HAL" gained approval from the FDA last December, but there hasn't been an official statement as to how much the device will cost yet. "As with any new technology just entering the market, HAL initially is unlikely to be covered by insurance. We are working to determine final pricing and will discuss that with each program participant," a Brooks representative reported.

It is difficult for me to explain just how amazing this new exoskeleton really is so it seems like a better idea to just show you what I'm talking about. Take a look at the video below to see for yourself!

So now that I've educated my readers a bit about how exoskeletons are being used for rehabilitation, lets take a look at another application. How do you imagine they could be used to help workers complete their tasks?

I recently read an article by The Drive entitled 'Ford Is Equipping Valencia Factory Workers With Exoskeletons.' This was a very interesting article focused around how Ford was testing out the use of exoskeletons with their workforce in an effort to increase productivity and reduce the typical pains an employee may experience while working on a factory floor.

This article was written in Feb. 2018 so the information presented is still quite current in regard to the happenings with exoskeleton technology going on right now in our world.

Ford began its evaluation of augmentations for assembly line workers last year when it trialled the "EksoVest" upper body industrial exoskeleton on laborers in in two of the company's U.S. factories. The American automaker announced Friday that its exoskeleton program has been fully implemented in its Valencia factory in Spain with nine rigs of carbon fiber and titanium deployed at present and another twenty employees slated to try out the exoskeletons in April.

So, what interests me most about this news is why Ford is doing this. What are they hoping to achieve by having their employees test this technology out?

"Ford currently uses two different types of exoskeleton at the plant in Valencia, supplied to Ford by outside companies," a Ford Europe spokesperson said. "The units augment the user's physical endurance rather than strength, as tasks in the plant involving heavier or bulk items are handled by robots or machinery."

So clearly they are very motivated and interested in applying this technology in their operations. I say that because of the fact that they are testing more than one type of exoskeleton at the moment which makes it look like less of a fad and more like a proper study.

Furthermore, we can learn from the quote above that the company has interest in augmenting a user's physical endurance (what this means is they'd like to give their employees to work harder and longer).

Image Source: The Drive

Hopefully I've got you interested in this topic now and if I'm right, you'll want to know what the outcome of this Ford exoskeleton study was and what it means for the future...

Well, even if I haven't got you incredibly interested, too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway!

Unfortunately, Ford's spokesperson declared that the company was not able to quantify a productivity increase. This doesn't mean necessarily that one doesn't exist, it just means that based on their study they weren't able to reproduce a data set that confirmed this truly was the case. On a brighter note, the spokesperson said that the company did find that employees seemed to benefit from less fatigue after a shift. They also narrowed down their results and found that the age of employees benefiting from the exoskeletons was focused in a range from 30 to beyond 50.

“My job can be like a workout at the gym and you really need to be fit to tackle some of the tasks," stated 34-year-old Ramón Navarrete of the Valencia plant in Ford's release. "The exoskeleton suit makes a big difference and at the end of a shift I feel much fresher.”

One thing is certain and that is the fact that exoskeletons are becoming more commonly used in fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing so be prepared to see a lot more of this technology in the coming years and decades!

What do you think about the sucess story mentioned above about David Evans? Do you think exoskeleton technology can be a good replacement for a physical therapist? How do you feel about the technology being applied to factory and warehouse jobs? Do you think exoskeleton technology will advance a lot in the coming years?

Here's a chance for the @ADSactly community to leave their thoughts and opinions on this topic!

Thanks for reading.

Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

"Robotic exoskeleton helps patients learn to walk again." - The Columbus Dispatch

"Japan's long-awaited exoskeleton legs could help you walk again" - CNET

"Ford Is Equipping Valencia Factory Workers With Exoskeletons" - The Drive

Image Sources:

Cyberdyne, The Drive, The Guardian

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Great article about Cyberdyne HAL wearable robotic exoskeleton. Yes, it’s a long procedure, but isn’t the case of David inspiration itself? Imagine how many people such as wounded veterans it helps. As a matter of fact REWALK already has an exo for spinal cord injury. It is FDA approved, has won several USA insurance coverages and has won nationwide German insurance coverage. The suit is already used in the finest rehab facilities and can be taken home after training. If the Veterans Admin would get off it's ads, our wounded hero's would benefit greatly.

Thanks for the positive feedback! I think that you are right abought the VA needing to throw down some money and offer this treatment to veterans. David's case is extremely inspirational and I hope that this technology helps many others in need of the same help!

Hola @adsactly
La robótica es un campo de la ciencia y tecnología que en los últimos años ha avanzado a grandes pasos.
Por supuesto para la medicina terapeútica resulta de gran valor.
Es importante señalar que incluso los exoesqueletos ya han sido probados en situaciones de guerra, permitiendo al hombre cargar con muchos más equipos y soportar terrenos más complejos.
Ahora a lo que vamos.
.- El paciente David Evans ha encontrado a tráves de este adelanto la oportunidad de retomar una vida normal y si se quiere mucho más rápida que con la terapía tradicional.
.- Si bien es cierto que la tecnología del exoesqueleto puede ser un buen reemplazo para un fisioterapeuta, pienso que no lo logrará del todo y esto debido a que las pautas de las rutinas a llevar a cabo para la recuperación de un paciente siempre van ha ser llevadas a cabo por un fisiatra que es quien diagnostica, evalúa, prescribe y trata el estado de enfermedad que de una forma u otra afecta la motricidad del paciente y cuyos ejercicios o tratamientos van ha ser coordinados por el fisioterapeuta que son los que ayudan a recuperar la movilidad normal a medida que las lesiones sanan.
.- La tecnología que se aplica a los trabajos en fábricas y almacenes es genial ya que las enfermedades profesionales causadas por esfuerzos físicos agotadores se vería disminuida en un alto porcentaje.
.- Por supuesto que esta tecnología seguirá avanzando a pasos acelerados en los años venideros e incluso el exoesqueleto llegará a ser parte total del cuerpo humano.
Saludos y Gracias por el atículo. Demasiado interesante

I think that this technology is amazing. It is something that insurance companies will need accept ASAP as I can see the cost of this being very expensive. It is unfortunate to think that there are going to be many people who could benefit from this product and they won’t get access to it because of money. What’s to good of this wonderful technology if it only benefits the wealthy. Fingers crossed that insurance companies see the value and potential savings from future issues.

Insurance companies will most likely work hard to drive costs down if they can and this means them saying that the technology has no benefit or is unproven in truly helping those in need. Hopefully people can rise up against these questionable policies and push insurance providers to accept that this is a much needed treatment for many.

We all come to the world with a different and particular mission. But mainly we all have a particular one that we share and of which we always forget for our day to day and it is BEING HAPPY, this implies many things from many different points of view. For all this feeling does not contain the same things, but really is the simplest and materializes with the most simple of the universe "the inside of each of us", we all give what we are made of. What a wonder it would be to be able to give a person through this booming technology the possibility of smiling again to return the lost mobility, is something that has no price. We must use our entire being and knowledge on a daily basis to help the common good contribute to our society. Do not forget to give smiles, be happy.

exoskeleton is great especially to those disabled person, but it can also be potential danger to human kind as this technology can be used as weapon. :)

Modern world are dependent on technology

That is true in many cases but not true for everyone. I think that as technology continues to dominate our lives there will be new opportunities for teachers and communities that fight back offering training in how to live without them! It will be a luxury to not be dependent upon technologies and demand will grow in that regard.

yaa friend ekhlas01, you right but if it use positive use

ye unfortunately you are correct specifically the younger generation! leaving the world very open to cyber attacks and cyber warfare!

new, innovative and cheap technology is the only solution to the developing and underdeveloped nation to fight poverty

Robot like man looking in action these technologies will help human being to live comfortable life on earth great post @adsactly

I think this is the best technology. this kind of technology needs to be in all hospitals. So it would be very easy to walk for every paralytic patient like David Evans. . this technologies will also help factory workers. . I appreciate this technology.I think this technology blessing for paralyzed patients. .

I agree with you! Technology will help so many people and this is just great! :)

wow , I am suprise to read this topic. Its really amazing.I would like to explain that MAN is not enough to chañge the world its the believes and determination of man that can change the world.Be a Man!!

This is reality and in 2018 most complex surgeries will be done by robots... Thats good for human... This is the real technology

True but I'm still not sure I would trust a robot to perform a task until it had several successful surgeries under its belt. Its quite worrying to think about some sort of malfunction ruining my life so I'd be cautious around this idea...

it's incredible robotic exoskeleton is used to help patients learn to walk again. They are used in the workplace to provide worker assistance at the factory and warehouse work and other applications that are still being developed. thanks for this great article @adsactly and continued success for The Columbus Dispatch

Agreed! It is a very nice effort being made!

I agree with you @techblogger I really appreciate this

good post My first post is your comment, because every post you are very good, do you like if I will visit your post, I hope you want to help me in professional steemit problem, I hope you succeed.

robotic help is a bit hopeful to the people.
It's hard to see this as a physiotherapist who sees such people every day.

Understood. Hope this technology changes life for the better. Thanks for sharing.

New technology faster growing and it's help those in need in globalization.

These revolutionary devices will help a great many people.

Technologies advance every single day

good job keep it up thanks for shareing

If it is available in all hospital and hospis then easy to walk for every paralyzed patients as like David Evans.
Is this work under the control of mind of patient or automatically.
This is a really wonderful creation of technology.

This is really an advance and human-oriented technology. But one thing, it may be very useful if it is extended to the harmful areas and fields.
One example is, mostly Bomb Disposable squads lost their parts of body while disposing off any bomb etc. So these missions may be assigned to these sort of robots.

These might be so expensive but I think human life is much expensive. and one thing more, the ratio of these people who needs robots may be reduced.

The field of powered exoskeletons has come a long way from science fiction, to actual products with the capacity to change lives.

I expect further development in this field. There are so many applications that could be found for this type of technology.

I can see a wider use case of such exoskeletons: abilities enhancement in healthy humans. Imagine going on a walk-trip around the country with such power up thing on your legs, you could make a distance of 50 miles and not get tired at all. It's like bicycles with electric engine support, you still need to pedal, but much less!

Interesting possibilities present themselves in the field of recreational exoskeletons, I certainly agree with your point that there is a good reason to be excited about what the future stores for this technology!

Technological advances never cease to amaze and amaze us, the possibility of rehabilitating people with disabilities through inventions that make life easier deserves applause, as well as this article that you spread, congratulations

This kind technology is waited so long time to be reality. Its about dream come true for paralyse or patient . It bring new hope for humanity

Nice ede and please rock me.
I also want to be like you.

Major advancements there, giving hope to people who have lost it thinking they were never going to walking again.
Giving back support to those working in factories reducing back pains. The clearance for its approval for medical use took really long, that's sad for the people really needed the exoskeleton earlier.

Let the disabled ones among regain that sense of belonging. We cherish you too.

This technology will certainly help in the future. If the production cost decreases it will be more available. At this moment, it will be tested for a long time to be sure that it will not load the body for a longer time of use. But as you can see, there is no doubt if it helps people learn to walk and is used in factories.

Yes. That seems to be the key with this technology. Right now at its current price point its only available for the rich but hopefully given time that will change.

@adsactly, the problem of losing one's ability to use a body part is one a brother of mine is suffering from. He lost his right to a car accident. Though the cost of such robotic hands is something we honestly can't afford as of now. I am optimistic going forward something efficient and cheaper would be available for all. Great work.

I'm quite sorry to hear that. It may take a while but I'm optimistic as well that this technology will be explored further and there will be cost effective alternatives following similar designs soon!

This is the best use of modern technology..... helping people who really need help. As seen in the video, exoskeleton technology seems like a blessing for the people who have very little or no hope of rehabilitation. Upvoted.

This is really remarkable. A technology like this will finally put an end to the wheel chair

the article is very good and draws attention to read, and the contents of the article
very helpful in the medical world, and can help many people who can not afford to walk

Informative report

I see, read and enjoy your post, steady and innovative. thanks for sharing

day by day robotic system fit of the market place and doing better but some time its risk label little bit pain.pls confirm its risk value and rescue backup.
as a new comer you are requested to help and how can i reach succeed on steem
thanks to keeping upvote 01.jpg

Hola como estas @adsactly? ya la ciencia ficcion esta aqui, gracias a los avances de la tecnologia, muchas personas ya pueden caminar con estos exoesqueletos, un fuerte abrazo.

The robot is the future. It will be taking over soon. The rest is history.

Robots will play a large role in the future but this article is about exoskeletons which aren't quite the same thing! Thanks for your interaction regardless!

its so intyeresting..
thank u verry much for sear thiss/.

Great post.
I like this robotics.

nanotechnology today is admiration. tomorrow will be the future of mankind

The message is great that people who have lost their ability to walk will be able to get back on their feet again. However, the bad news is that not everyone will benefit from this great technology. At least in the next decade. Do I think that the exoskeleton technology can be a good substitute for a physiotherapist? Certainly, the exoskeleton will be developed to such an extent in the future. People are constantly gaining new technologies, so it's only a matter of time. Let's hope this technology will be available to everyone. You work hard, applause :)

Yes, this is true. Unfortunately, technologies like these don't get to the people who really need them the most due to their expensive nature. Hopefully the costs will be driven down quickly and everyone will have access in the near future!

Exoskeleton, cyborgs and robotics will change the world. Great post though! Thanks for sharing.

Haha possibly! Interesting prediction... The cyborgs part is certainly dystopian!

OK. Let's hope so.

the robot is always help full for help in our daily life....we use those for every need.thay work with 100% accuracy and confident

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