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A Human Exoskeleton

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's a concept borrowed from the spider and the horseshoe crab: an exoskeleton, designed to assist disabled people with standing, walking and climbing stairs.

ReWalk, by Argo Medical Technologies of Israel, consists of a lightweight brace-support suit featuring motors at the joints, rechargeable batteries and a computerized control system carried in a backpack.

The user chooses the desired movement -- stand up, take a step, stand still, sit down -- on a remote control. Sensors then determine the angle of the user's chest and guide the legs along while allowing the person to maintain his or her balance. The user typically uses crutches while wearing the suit, which is intended to be worn under clothing.

Now undergoing clinical trials, the device is expected to be available to the public next year.

-- Ranit Mishori

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