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Thread: robotic orthoses(exoscheletons)to enable functional stand up an walking for paralised people

  1. #1
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    robotic orthoses(exoscheletons)to enable functional stand up an walking for paralised people

    Hello,

    It's for the first time I poste in the forum a new item,although I watched the Forum papers almost daily with great interest and hope. Of course, the complete cure of paralysis will be brought by the Central Nervous System real and controlled, safe regeneration. Untill then, it seems, unfortunatelly, that we still have to wait some five to ten years or maybe more. That is why I think that an intermediate approach could be the achievment of robotic orthoses (exoskeletons).
    Recently,the japanese company Sony have presented its newest generation of high tech. humanoid robots (SDR), which have shown the amazing capability to realise an excellent ballanced biped: standing, walking,dancing, genuflecting (i.e. the posibility of climbing/descending stairs), with human-like sensibility, sensitivo-motor self-controlled feed-backs, and being no-wired (autonomous) powered. Also the Technological Institute In Munich-Germany presented, this spring, at the Hannover Technical Fair, another humanoid robot - named Johnnie - and they said that very soon they will enable Johnnie to walk with real human speed and even to run (i.e. to be capable to sprint both leggs leaving the ground for short periods). Why is it not possible to use all these upmost hard / soft and engineering achievments, for producing some high tech."intelligent" robotic orthoses (exoscheletons), to enable the paralised people (paraplegics,tetraplegics, haemiplegics), old disabled pearsons,etc. to stend up, walk, (work - some of them) and actually - get back their lives again?!
    Two weeks ago, I e-mailed on this subject Prof. Dr. Daniel Ferris from Michigan University (about one year ago I read on the Internet a short article by him, in which it was announced that, by the end of this year, founded by the C. Reeve Paralysis Foundation, he and his team will produce the first H.K.A.F.O. orthoses, powered by pneumatic muscles and equiped with robotic devices, capable to assist the lower limb paralised people to stand up and walk on real ground), because in the last about seven months I couldn't find any more news or related sites to this promissing matter. Here enclosed, his answer. What can I understand? - That this great hope for the paralised people was taken under control by DARPA and will be solved by them? And when?
    hopefully, Gelu


    >>>
    Dr. Onose,

    >Why is it not
    > possible to use all these upmost hard / soft and engineering achievments,
    > for producing some high tech. robotic orthoses (exoscheletons) to enable
    > the paralised people (paraplegics,tetraplegics, haemiplegics), old
    > disabled pearsons,etc. to stend up, walk, (work - some of them) and
    > actually - get back their lives again?

    The biggest two problems are energy density and comfortable force
    transmission. Energy density refers to the fact that it is not possible to
    store enough energy in a medium lightweight enough for aiding human
    locomotion. Electromechanial motors powered by batteries would weigh over
    100 lbs to be functional for human walking. DARPA financed researchers are
    struggling with this problem now in the search for an exoskeleton for
    soldiers (http://www.darpa.mil/DSO/thrust/matdev/ehpa.htm). As for the
    second problem, the DARPA researchers haven't reached that bridge yet but
    it is a substantial problem. To generate torques strong enough for human
    movement requires very large forces and pressures on human skin and soft
    tissue.

    sincerely,
    dan ferris

    _______________________________
    Dan Ferris, Ph.D.
    Human Neuromechanics Laboratory
    Department of Movement Science
    University of Michigan
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ferrisdp/

    mailing address:
    Dan Ferris
    Division of Kinesiology
    401 Washtenaw Avenue
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214

    e-mail: ferrisdp@umich.edu
    phone: (734) 647-6878
    fax: (734) 936-1925

  2. #2
    Banned Acid's Avatar
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    "Of course, the complete cure of paralysis will be brought by the Central Nervous System real and controlled, safe regeneration. Untill then, it seems, unfortunatelly, that we still have to wait some five to ten years or maybe more."

    If controlled by central nervous systems timings might differ individually widely.
    And not all might be out to wait a bunch of years. But I guess that is not what you meant.

    "an intermediate approach could be the achievment of robotic orthoses (exoskeletons)."

    I have thought about exoskeletons before.
    Alike some remodified Japanese helmet able to "read" brain signals to steer machines.
    And an external "skeleton" to an arm.

    Problem seems to be with such, that signals might go off into the damaged, that the damaged might be not at all far enough for.

    Alike if there were still some lower C interlinks, but since down to the arm does not go for higher C sector interlink disruptions,
    that signals in the wake of such are fired into the lower damaged sector(s), but that this is not far enough for this yet.

    But on the long run the aim seems to be, that this one is first far enough, and then such.
    Not to mess into damaged sectors health status negatively, by causing their damaged systems signal overloads with something, that they are not far enough for yet.


    So, although it might be possible to get some Japanese company or others, who are already to do with these helmets for example, to consider the financial options worldwide if massproducing such,
    the health considerations in this for damaged systems might leave seriously to be wished for.


    But it seem the damaged systems that are more relevant.

  3. #3
    Banned Acid's Avatar
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    What I have been wondering about, though maybe more alike rather futuristic SF fantasy,
    is, if not household robots could be built.

    Alike fetching the mail out of the mailbox, open letters and fish out the contents, unfold the pages, letter recognition to be able to get what page one is, etc., and hold it in front of the face in suited reading distance of someone not able to move,
    do a bunch of household chores, reach over the telephone handle when ringing, so it is in a suited angle near the ear, etc.

    But that seeemd more to me at the time alike wild SF stuff.


    And although it might be possible to train some upper frontal cortex stuff to steer some robot to an extent via such a steering-helmet, it might be questionable if, apart from artificial energies disturbances, such adaptations of systems to something as bizarre as that, are really good.


    Even voice controlled commands might still be better.

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