Monday, January 3, 2011

Exoskeleton Controlled By Thought!

One of the major challenges in creating an exoskeleton for wheelchair users is how to control it. Some exoskeleton manufacturers use joysticks, some use force and motion sensors others use electromyography, that is, sensing the electrical activity of the muscle. None of these are optimal and none will work for everyone.

But a recent study from the Dr. Nicholas Hatsopoulos of the University Of Chicago, demonstrated that monkey can control an exoskeleton by thought alone!

Hatsopoulos said. “I think using these wearable robots and controlling them with the brain is, in my opinion, probably the most promising approach to take in helping paralyzed individuals regain the ability to move.”
.

If this work is successful, the day may not be far off when a wheelchair user can move an exoskeleton in a similar way that an able-bodied person moves their legs.

Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users on the Exoskeleton Website