Exoskeletons are not something unreal anymore because people are developing more and more uses for them. Previously, we did not even imagine that we would be able to pay for purchases with something other than cash, but now you can easily find an online casino that accepts mastercard, buy tickets to any concert, and even more.
All of it is because such technologies are interesting for the government and society. So, does exoskeletons such an interesting tech? Initially, they were exclusively interesting for the army, but later civilians found how exoskeletons could be used. Consequently, it is worth knowing about these devices.
It is nothing but a wearable device or suit that operates with the user to amplify their performance or enhance their strength. In most cases, they wear it on the body. Exoskeletons utilize a combination of biomechatronics and robotics to provide body independence. They are also designed to support rather than replace functionality. When it comes to physical rehabilitation, they assist patients in relearning skills. In the case of construction, they help people reduce the amount of energy spent and simplify repetitive tasks. When it comes to the military, they can help soldiers carry heavy loads over much longer distances.
You will be surprised to learn that there are different types of these devices that depend on the body part they are meant for.
Here these types are:
- Upper extremity. This kind of exoskeleton is supposed to support the torso and the arms. It is possible to break them down into elbow joints, shoulder joints, fingers, and the wrist.
- Full body: This suit is utilized for strength augmentation in rehabilitation and the military.
- Lower extremity: This one is utilized to support the legs. The configurations, such as the knee, hip, hip-knee-ankle, or just ankle, can be different.
Below, you can find a few important examples of how exoskeletons can be used:
1. They are extremely helpful for patients when it comes to rehabilitation. They simulate natural gait, which initiates powerful brain signals. Thanks to this, people can learn to walk again. These devices are also able to simulate natural gait by utilizing drives in the knee joints and hip, which move the person’s legs.
2. Training with these devices can have a positive impact on the mental health of a patient. Those who use exoskeletons for training report improved morale, moods, and mental health after a short period of time. They can also give hope to people who were completely immobilized because they can walk again. This way, they are less depressed.
3. Some models of exoskeletons can be controlled by a person`s thoughts. This is not a joke. These devices tend to have various types of control systems, such as tablets, buttons, and smart crutches. They allow the patient to control the support they get from the suit. The up-to-date method is a brain activity interface that makes it possible for users to control it with their thoughts. There are also exoskeletons with touchscreen controls that allow people to set goals and change assistance levels for patients. Physical therapists may also access the database of the medical device to record patient progress and analyze complex movement patterns.
4. These devices can be utilized in the military, medical, construction, and automotive industries. In general, there are two kinds of exoskeletons – industrial and medical. The first type is supposed to make work easier for the user. The second type is usually used in rehabilitation to help people regain mobility, while industrial devices are utilized to augment human performance.
In general, exoskeletons are able to not only help people perform hard work but also help them recover. If someone cannot walk, for example, they can do that now with the help of these devices. In the future, exoskeletons may become even more useful.