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Vanderbilt University Steps Into the Exoskeleton Market

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the power-up dept.

Medicine 26

Zothecula writes "For people who are unable to walk under their own power, exoskeletons offer what is perhaps the next-best thing. The devices not only let their users stand, but they also move their legs for them, allowing them to walk. While groups such as Berkeley Bionics, NASA, Rex Bionics, and ReWalk are all working on systems, Nashville's Vanderbilt University has just announced the development of its own exoskeleton. It is claimed to offer some important advantages over its competitors."

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I want to assfuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41850695)

I want to fuck a girl in the ass.

Unsurprised (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41850711)

I maintain my claim that Bubblegum Crisis predicted the future best of all cyberpunk works.

Much better design - symbiotic (4, Informative)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41850727)

It enhances leg muscle strength by stimulating the muscles into contracting and relaxing while the paralyzed person uses it to walk. As the legs get stronger, the exoskeleton does less of the work. I'll bet that 10 years from now, almost all paralyzed people in developed countries will be using these types of devices to get around.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41850765)

I bet that in 50 years, almost all fat, lazy, Americans will be using these types of devices to get around.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41850875)

Like the immensely fat Baron Vladimir Harkonnen floating around on his suspensors in Dune? http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Vladimir_Harkonnen [wikia.com] . Nah - in fact, many Americans are completely obsessed with exercise.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41850899)

Yeah, but the fat, lazy ones, not so much. And, I prefer the Wall-E version.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (3, Interesting)

hubang (692671) | about 2 years ago | (#41851647)

As an American, I once saw a profound vision of the future [wikipedia.org] , which shows how the Americans of the future will truly get around.

I want my hoverchair, darn-it!

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | about 2 years ago | (#41854041)

Some moronic little shit always loves to ridicule the disabled, usually by calling them fat or lazy!

I would love to get one of these exoskeletons to use instead of my scooter.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41854125)

Some moronic little shit always loves to ridicule the disabled, usually by calling them fat or lazy!

I would love to get one of these exoskeletons to use instead of my scooter.

I think people are generally ridiculing fat, lazy people with nothing wrong with them that a change in diet and some light exercise wouldn't cure. People who are not disabled using mobility scooters do no favours to the genuinely disabled at all.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41851499)

Amazing times we live in. The paralyzed can walk! While the price is high now, one this "segway with legs" will be commonplace and available to the masses. Kudos to all the people involved in this excellent work!

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41851689)

all paralyzed people in developed countries

Judging by the state of things, I'm guessing that will include... maybe parts of Switzerland. :p

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 2 years ago | (#41852585)

How does it stimulate the muscles to contract? I had realized it's probably great physical therapy, causing far more movement than anything else. I would also think if there is any chance of the nerves repairing themselves this kind of real-world use would help with that too.

Re:Much better design - symbiotic (1)

Chrontius (654879) | about 2 years ago | (#41859061)

Electrical stimulation, mostly, if I read the article correctly.

The sad part of all this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41850799)

is a "University stepping into a Market", and this is becoming more and more common these days.

With more academic man-hour work managed and directed by the profit oriented mentality, academic research that yields applicable results more than 10 yrs after its discovery will slowly migrate somewhere else. Every body wants to be the next "Mark Zuckerberg" of their field.

Re:The sad part of all this (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 2 years ago | (#41851913)

How long till you graduate and have to get a job?

Re:The sad part of all this (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41854171)

How long till you graduate and have to get a job?

What's that got to do with it? I am an adult and have to work like everyody else, that doesn't mean I think everything in life can be reduced to a monetary transaction. Without research the world is doomed, and not all research can be measured by the number of dollars it generates in the short or even medium term.

Interesting and yet sad (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 years ago | (#41850905)

Interesting, as I suspect that at least part of the development of robotics, for the coming years, may be in the exoskeleton field. Exoskeletons may be very useful, and not only for paralyzed people: they can provide extra power for astronauts, soldiers on the battlefield they could provide - when nimble enough - with both extra power and armour, etc. etc.

Sad, as I have seen here in Europe what happens when universities "step into the market": dramatic reductions in quality, both of teaching and research, are quite often the consequence. Neo-liberalism is still driving us into places where we, actually, are loath to go.

Re:Interesting and yet sad (1)

gazita123 (589586) | about 2 years ago | (#41850951)

Interesting, as I suspect that at least part of the development of robotics, for the coming years, may be in the exoskeleton field.

Yep, when you encapsulate the human into the robot, it is much easier to take over.

Re:Interesting and yet sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41851005)

pfft, Hesh is going to stay human; He'll die in the first wave.

Re:Interesting and yet sad (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 2 years ago | (#41851727)

Have fun on the reservation!

Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41851097)

What is the overlap in groups of people who need this and people who can afford this?

Re:Amazing (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 2 years ago | (#41851979)

People said that about their Urban Combat Jetpack and one man tank.

In unrelated news Cornelius Vanderbilt VI, Jr has changed his name to Bruce Wayne and hardly ever seems to appear in Hello magazine anymore. And when he does he has unexplained bruises and sounds like he's been chain smoking asbestos. So I'd say at least one. Hell, I'd say exactly one.

test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41851455)

Yep, when you encapsulate the human into the robot, it is much easier to take over.
1 hidden comment

i predict an ad campaign (3, Insightful)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#41851813)

GUNDAM STYLE!

Re:i predict an ad campaign (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41852967)

GUNDAM STYLE!

Is this any better than Gangnam Style [youtube.com] ?

I can hear it now:

Exo Gundam style!
Ex - Ex - Ex - Ex - Ex
Exo Gundam style!
Heeeeyyyyyy, exo-lady!

Re:i predict an ad campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41862165)

exo steven hawking!

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