Mechatronics Delivers Greater Mobility for Paraplegic PatientsMechatronics Delivers Greater Mobility for Paraplegic Patients
June 8, 2015
The multidisciplinary field of mechatronics continues to find areas where it can deliver value in new ways. In medical, product development teams are bringing together multiple engineering disciplines, such as mechanics, sensing, electronics, and computing, to design robotic exoskeletons for people with paraplegia.
One such device, ReWalk, is now commercially available in many markets around the world, and it recently obtained US FDA approval. The ReWalk exoskeleton is manufactured by ReWalk Robotics, with headquarters in Marlborough, Mass. The company sells two commercial versions, the Rehabilitation model used in healthcare organizations, and the Personal model designed for consumer use.
Powered exoskeletons have been touted for decades as a way to give super-strength to soldiers or greater lifting capability to warehouse and manufacturing workers. But they are still far from delivering sufficient value for such military and industrial applications. One obstacle is the short life of the battery systems needed to supply power to the suits.
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