Robot-Cyborg In Help Of Medicine

The robot is not maneuvering at a distance, but becomes one with man. The next generation exoskeletons are an example of how the fusion between man and machine is being achieved in many science fiction novels and films. A Japanese group from the University of Tsukuba developed a device called HAL, which stands for Hybrid volunteer and autonomous control assistive limb, i.e. hybrid limb with autonomous and voluntary assisted control. The CyberDyne, spin-off of the university, produces it.

Not only does HAL seem to be the embodiment of exoskeletons described by such science fiction, they emphasize the authors in an article on Science Robotics, but at the bottom it has already passed.

More than science fiction. The robots that can be worn or integrated with the human body and nervous system, already out of the laboratories, are not only much more advanced than the old robots like Mazinga Z or Goldrake, but already possess some of the performances of the most

In the case of HAL, for example, neuromuscular electrical signals are the ones who wear the device to move it. In some way, that is, the exoskeleton is controlled with thought: the intention is enough to perform a movement to make it perform to the robotic limb as if it were the natural one. In turn, the robotic device transmits a feedback signal to the brain, as is normally the case in the interaction between the nervous system and the outside world.

Medically useful. Precisely because the cybernetic mechanisms of HAL allow to perform precise voluntary movements without fatigue the muscles of the wearer, exoskeletons and robots are entering the field of medicine and rehabilitation. In the experience of Japanese scholars, patients with progressive neuromuscular diseases that cannot move more than a dozen steps independently, manage to make up to 2,000 with the help of HAL.

Third and fourth arm: how the MetaLimbs work. © Inami Laboratory

In addition, the first clinical studies showed that rehabilitation performed with these systems for patients with nervous system lesions and paralysis is much more efficient than traditional. For example, the research group led by Miguel Nicolelis, at Duke University, demonstrated in the first clinical trial that with a 12-month training program with an exoskeleton, eight paraplegic people for years had improvements that allowed

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