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— Robotics

suitX announces "world's most affordable" powered exoskeleton – the Phoenix

When it comes to the price of most products, US$40,000 is pretty high. In the case of powered exoskeletons, however, it's cheap – at least half the typical price. Nonetheless, that's approximately what suitX's Phoenix modular exoskeleton should sell for, bringing the technology to a whole new income class. And at 27 lb (12.25 kg), it's also one of the lightest models ever made.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Internet-connected brace designed to help seniors avoid falls

Falls can be devastating for the elderly, which is why Orthotic Holdings Inc (OHI) first created the Moore Balance Brace. It's a foot and ankle support, which is designed to improve the balance and stability of its wearers – as long as they use it correctly, that is. With that in mind, OHI has partnered with wearable fitness tech firm Sensoria Fitness to create the internet-connected Smart Moore Balance Brace.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Low-cost prosthetic knee could let the impoverished walk normally

Some higher-end prosthetic legs are equipped with things like gyroscopes and accelerometers, in order to guide their knee joint through a more natural bending motion. In developing nations, however, such expensive prostheses usually aren't an option. That's why a scientist from MIT is developing a knee that could allow inexpensive legs to perform like the fancy ones.

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— Good Thinking

ReWalk Robotics announces faster, sleeker exoskeleton

There are now a number of powered exoskeletons either on the market or in development, all of which allow people who lack the use of their legs to walk in an upright position. The ReWalk device is without doubt the best-known, having been commercially available since 2012. This week, ReWalk Robotics announced the sixth version of the product, which is reportedly better-fitting, faster and less bulky than its predecessors.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Unpowered ankle exoskeleton takes a load off calf muscles to improve walking efficiency

We might have started off in the water, but humans have evolved to be extremely efficient walkers, with a walk in the park being, well, a walk in the park. Human locomotion is so efficient that many wondered whether it was possible to reduce the energy cost of walking without the use of an external energy source. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State have provided an answer in the affirmative with the development of an unpowered ankle exoskeleton. Read More
— Medical

Spinal implant could one day let paralyzed people walk again

Three years ago, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) reported success in getting rats with severed spinal cords to walk again. They did so by suspending the animals in a harness, then using implants to electrically stimulate neurons in their lower spinal cord. Although this ultimately resulted in the rats being able to run on their previously-paralyzed hind legs, the technology still wasn't practical for long-term use in humans. Thanks to new research conducted at EPFL, however, that may no longer be the case. Read More
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