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— Games

"Virtualizer" lets VR gamers walk on the spot to move in the game

By - September 25, 2013 3 Pictures
Remember when you were a kid, and you used to go sliding across the floor in your stocking feet? Well, researchers at Austria's Vienna University of Technology have developed a virtual reality gaming system that brings those sock-sliding days to mind. It allows players to walk on the spot in the real world, causing their character to walk across the ground in the game. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Isowalk reinvents the walking cane with new design and wireless

By - July 9, 2013 4 Pictures
The project does not exactly reinvent the wheel, but it sets out to improve on a device that is almost as old. The traditional walking cane is undergoing a design revolution that draws inspiration from the latest developments in ergonomics and even aerospace engineering. Isowalk, currently fundraising on Indiegogo, is a new design aimed at taking the walking cane to a new level of sophistication, besides making it more user-friendly and safer. Its designer also wants to enable it with wireless technology and create different models for different needs. Read More
— Science

Soft exosuit offers an alternative to rigid exoskeletons

By - July 2, 2013 2 Pictures
Powered exoskeletons show great promise both for augmenting the abilities of able-bodied users, and for rehabilitating the disabled. That said, they also tend to be hard-bodied contraptions that don’t look particularly comfortable (or light) to wear. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute recently demonstrated what they hope will be a more user-friendly alternative – a “soft exosuit.” Read More
— Wearable Electronics

SolePower insole charges devices using the power of walking

By - June 11, 2013 4 Pictures
Two years ago, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineering researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor developed a device designed to harness the power of walking to charge an internal battery. Now, a new product called SolePower is looking to do the same thing, and its designers are turning to Kickstarter to bring it to the masses. The difference between this and other devices is that it comes in the form of a removable insole, so it can be used in different kinds of shoes. Read More
— Robotics

Mini humanoid robots are beginning to walk more like people

By - June 5, 2013 5 Pictures
While there are several humanoid robot kits available to hobbyists, most of them leave much to be desired when it comes to walking the way we do. The fact that they can move on two feet at all is pretty cool, but most simply bend their knees and make a series of quick little steps, resulting in a gait which looks like they're shuffling rather than really walking. Professional roboticists and programmers are now beginning to show some improvements that are worth seeing in action. Read More
— Robotics

Robotic CORBYS platform uses patient feedback to help stroke victims walk again

By - March 13, 2013 1 Picture
Of the various effects that a stroke can have on a person, one of the most common is paralysis of one side of the body – needless to say, this has a severe impact on the victim’s ability to walk. Treatment often consists of therapists retraining the person’s body by repeatedly lifting their legs, guiding them through a proper walking pattern. The EU-funded CORBYS project aims to make such therapy easier for everyone involved by using a powered orthosis to move the patient’s legs in response to feedback from their brain. Read More
— Science

Nose cell transplants allow paralyzed dogs to walk again

By - November 20, 2012 1 Picture
Scientists from the University of Cambridge’s Veterinary School, working with colleagues from the UK Medical Research Council’s Regenerative Medicine Centre, have got disabled dogs walking again. More specifically, they’ve used the dogs’ own cells to repair their spinal cord injuries, and at least partially restored the functionality of their back legs. The researchers believe that the process shows promise for use on physically challenged humans. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Smart insole designed to correct gait problems

By - November 13, 2012 2 Pictures
People who have received an artificial leg, had a hip replacement, or who are recovering from a broken leg all want to avoid one thing – developing a limp. Not only will it limit their mobility and increase the risk of falls, but it can also lead to problems such as osteoarthritis. That’s why University of Utah mechanical engineer Prof. Stacy Bamberg is developing the Rapid Rehab system – it’s a “smart” insole paired to a smartphone app, designed to provide users with feedback on how they walk. Read More
— Science

AMP-Foot 2.0 prosthesis mimics human ankle's spring

By - October 31, 2012 2 Pictures
The majority of protheses available today that replace the lower leg, ankle, and foot are passive devices that store energy in an elastic element (similar to a coiled spring) at the beginning of a step and release during push-off to give you some added boost. While this type of prosthetic is energy efficient, it doesn't replicate the full power we get from our muscles. In order to provide that kind of energy an actuator is required, and these are often heavy and bulky. Researchers at Belgium's Vrije Universiteit Brussel have streamlined the technology in a device they call the AMP-Foot (Ankle Mimicking Prosthetic Foot). Read More
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