Exoskeleton Boot Developed by Stanford University is a ‘Game Changer’ for the Elderly

Published on October 15, 2022

Scientists have developed a robotic boot that can remove two stones from an elderly person’s weight, allowing them to walk again.

Scientists said the boot could help people with mobility impairments move throughout the world as they like’ CREDIT: Kurt Hickman/Stanford University

Scientists from Stanford University in the US said the motor works with calf muscles to provide the wearer with an extra push with every step.

The research, published in Nature, may allow people with mobility issues to ‘go anywhere they want,’ the team said.

Because of the variety of clinical populations that could benefit from the technology, Patrick Slade, a Ph.D. student at the Stanford Biomechatronics Laboratory and the report’s first author, said:

There are a number of clinical populations we hope to help, including older adults, people with muscle weakness, and specific injury recoveries.

We are hoping to help reverse the trend of muscle loss, slow walking speed, and increased effort required for the same walking speeds in older adults.

The boot was created using machine-learning technology, and it provided a nine percent increase in walking speed while reducing energy expenditures by 17 percent.

Taking off a 30-pound backpack was equivalent to the effect, the researchers said.

CREDIT: Kurt Hickman/Stanford University

Steve Collins, who leads the Biomechatronics Laboratory, said, “It’s been about 20 years in the making, and I’m a little surprised that we were finally able to do it.”

They wish to work on improving balance and reducing joint pain by developing different versions of the device. They also want to enhance the device’s balance and joint pain reduction capabilities as well as make it available for purchase.

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