Can robotics be the “workaround” for permanent spinal injury? There is hope that technology and scientific research is coming up with ways to provide robotic help for this and many other medical problems.
Researchers from the University of Grenoble in France, a biomedical research center, have developed a robotic exoskeleton type of suit. It is controlled by brain signals transmitted from sensors implanted in a patient’s head.
A 28-year-old man who is paralyzed from the shoulders down has had the sensors implanted on his head and connect to his brain. He is training to learn to steer the suit by using virtual simulation. This can be seen in a CNN Health Video operating the device to move all four of his limbs.
The exoskeleton moves when the patient ‘thinks’ of moving, as the sensors pick up signals from the part of the brain that controls motor function and sensation. Scientists state that this technology is still in the experimental stages, but as it improves, it could have the potential to improve the lives of those that are paralyzed.
The French team have recruited three more patients and hope to have patients walking without using any celling support for the device, in the next phase of the research.
To read more about this technology and see the video click here.
Woodyatt, A. (2019). Paralyzed man walks using brain-controlled robotic suit. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/04/health/paralyzed-man-robotic-suit-intl-scli/?no-st=9999999999