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Innovative Exo-Suite to Conveniently Support Walking and Running

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Published on : Aug 19, 2019

A walk justifies the attitude of a person and running can be helpful in saving lives. Humans have a small window of speed range in which they can either walk gracefully or run faster. However, humans naturally choose the gait that consumes the lowest energy produced by the metabolism particular speed. For instance, the body consumes less energy in a slow walk than that in a slow jog. On the other hand, the same body consumes more energy in a brisk walk than that consumed in running.

As a result of past researches, scientists have come up with exo-suits that assist in either walking gradually or run. However, none was able to accomplish both results under the same piece of equipment. Reason being, it is difficult to incorporate both the functionality in single device because of distinguished biomechanics of both functions. However, both the operations start at the hip joint of the body. The movement starts when the first foot comes in contact with the ground to generate adequate energy required for the propulsion of the body.

How Researcher Incorporated both the Functionality in One Device?

Studying the movement of the hip joint allowed researchers to develop new exo-suite. This allows the processor of the suite to understand the nature of the motion and align itself according to it. This makes the exo-suite gait-specific and smart enough to understand the neural signals.

The researchers of Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the University of Nebraska Omaha have developed this innovative exo-suite under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s former Warrior Web program.