Walking tall: Exoskeleton gives mobility to children with spinal muscular atrophy

This week’s video comes from the Spanish National Research Council, which has introduced a telescopic infant exoskeleton that will give mobility to children with spinal muscular atrophy.

The brace consists of long support rods – orthoses – that are adjusted to fit around the child’s legs and torso. A series of motors in the joints are designed to mimic human muscles and give the child the necessary strength to stand upright and walk. A series of sensors, a movement controller, and a battery with five hours of life complete the system.

The 12kg apparatus – made of aluminium and titanium – will also be used in physiotherapy to prevent the secondary effects associated with the loss of mobility caused by the degenerative illness.

The technology, which has been patented and licensed jointly by the Spanish National Research Council and its technology-based business unit, Marsi Bionics, is currently in the pre-clinical phase.