U0205319 Tuo Xiane
Amazing robot suit — HAL
A robot suit HAL (hybrid assistive limb) has been developed that could help older people or those with disabilities to walk or lift heavy objects.
HAL is the result of 10 years’ work by Yoshiyuki Sankai of the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
As we know, the muscles of human body move according to the signal transmitted from human brain. In HAL, a “bio-cybernic” system uses bioelectric sensors attached to the skin on the legs to monitor signals transmitted from the brain to the muscles. This can be done because when the brain is transmitting some signal to the muscle, a detectable current is generated at the surface of skin. This current is picked up by the sensor and sent back to the computer. This current is then translated to some other signal which can be recognized by the controlling system and used to control the electric motors at the hips and knees of the exoskeleton.
The motors at the hips and knees can respond to the signal in a fraction of a second. In fact, it responds even faster than the muscles do. That is why it can help the human body move so efficiently.
As we can see from above, the bio-cybernic system controls the movement of the individual parts of human body such as hips, knees, feet, etc. The coordination of these movements is mandatory. Therefore, a second control system is used to provide autonomous robotic control of the motors to coordinate these movements and make a task easier overall, helping someone to walk, for instance. This system activates itself automatically once the user starts to move. The first time they walk, its sensors record posture and pattern of motion, and this information is stored in an onboard database for later use. When the user walks again, sensors alert the computer, which recognizes the movement and regenerates the stored pattern to provide power-assisted movement.
These two control systems interact with each to complete the task. The actions of both systems can be calibrated according to a particular user’s needs, for instance to give extra assistance to a weaker limb.
Lokomat – savior of paralyzed people
A robotic device that may help people with paralysis to walk again was unveiled for the first time in the United States at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. This robotic device is called Lokomat. It gives hope to people with paralysis by retraining them to walk as shown in the picture.
Lokomat consists of a powered exoskeleton robot. It delivers power to the hip and knee of a person whose legs are strapped to the machine. This device suspends the patient in a harness over a treadmill, while a robot helps swing the legs. The computer synchronizes the treadmill with the body’s pace. This repetitive training in movement may help the gait pattern generators thought to be located in the lumbar area and might, in time, help patients redevelop and regain functional walking patterns.
Lokomat offers people with paralysis other benefits as well. For instance, regular therapy helps prevent limbs from deteriorating, by strengthening muscles and bones. Also, weight-bearing exercise helps individuals with paralysis to ward off the threat of osteoporosis.