Harvard scientists develop a compact exoskeleton that helps in walking and running

A new invention by scientists from Harvard University is a pair of shorts and a motor worn on

your back. Using cables, the motor attaches to the hips of the wearer. The motor exerts force on the connected cables, thereby helping to contract the thigh muscles. As the scientists themselves say, a similar approach to exoskeletons (they are called conditionally, because it is an incomplete exoskeleton) will make it much easier to tolerate long transitions on foot, which is useful for walkers, rescuers and the military.

The main advantage and difference from othersSuch systems is to help people not only in walking, but also in running. Scientists have noticed that when walking and running, the legs move differently, and accordingly the position of the center of gravity of the body changes.

The whole system is powered by batteries on the belt,which will last about five miles to walk or run. The weight of the entire installation is five kilograms, but at the same time a lightweight system is being developed, the weight of which will be reduced by 40%.

Researchers measured the amount consumed.man oxygen on a treadmill with shorts. They concluded that while walking, oxygen consumption decreased by 9.3 percent, and while running by 4 compared to running and walking without shorts. Such changes correspond to a decrease in body weight of 7.3 and 5.7 kilograms, respectively.

In addition to those who need to walk a lot, scientiststhey hope one day to help those who cannot walk due to health reasons. Also, DARPA (one of the agencies of the US Department of Defense) suggest that the exoskeleton is useful to soldiers, because their equipment weighs tens of kilograms.

However, the system is not without flaws. The bulkiness of the installation in the belt area will limit the ability to wear a full-sized backpack, and the general orientation of the system for male gait will complicate fine-tuning for individual body shapes and walking styles.

While the exoskeleton was tested only in the laboratory,but in the future, researchers hope to test the device in a real environment. Moreover, there are already plans to support industry workers due to the nature of their hard work.

A source: The verge

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