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Walk

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
Computer-controlled artificial legs have aided in improving amputees' freedom of movement by mimicking the natural motion of their missing limbs. Now, a new robotic ankle promises to make this motion even more precise by using a camera to scan the ground ahead and dynamically adjusting to the terrain underfoot. Read More

Just two days after opening, The London Millennium Footbridge was closed to eliminate its sway. Turns out staying with the sway would have had its benefits, as researchers have found that it reduces the amount of energy expended when walking across the bridge. Read More

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
It can be a laborious business, teaching people such as victims of strokes or brain injuries to walk again. Often, multiple physiotherapists are required to hold patients up while they walk on a treadmill, while also manually moving their legs to achieve the proper gait. Soon, however, a robotic walker developed at the National University of Singapore could make the process considerably easier. Read More
Falls are the leading cause of death by injury amongst seniors, and those falls are in turn typically caused by poor balance or an irregular gait. Taking things back yet another step, problems with balance and gait are often caused by diminished sensation in the feet. Now, however, a new study indicates that subtly-buzzing insoles may help seniors regain some of that lost sensation, and thus be less likely to fall down. Read More
In 2010, Darek Fidyka was paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a knife attack that left an 8 mm gap in his spinal column. Now surgeons in Poland, working in collaboration with scientists in London, have given Fidyka the ability to walk again thanks to a new procedure using transplanted cells from his olfactory bulbs. Read More
On June 12th, the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be kicked off by a paralyzed person using a highly innovative brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. This feat is being carried out as a demonstration of the current state-of-the art in assisted mobility technology, as the researchers involved – part of the "Walk Again Project" – work toward refining their invention. Read More
If you enjoy the simple pleasure of walking but wish it got you from A to B as quickly as cycling then the Walking Bicycle may be your dream machine. The Walking Bicycle combines the two activities into one electric-assisted whole, allowing you to propel yourself forward at speed simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Read More
When scientists at the University of Utah injected human stem cells into mice disabled by a condition similar to multiple sclerosis, they expected the cells to be rejected by the animals' bodies. It turned out that the cells were indeed rejected, but not before they got the mice walking again. The unexpected finding could have major implications for human MS sufferers. Read More
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