Mechanical Power Transmission Blog

Mechanical Power Transmission

The Mechanical Power Transmission Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about Gears & Gearbox Assemblies; Belts, Pulleys, Chains & Sprockets; Brakes, Clutches & Couplings; Design & Analysis. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Pay Now or Later?   Next in Blog: No More Greasy Bike Chains?
Close
Close
Close
4 comments

Exoskeletons for the Disabled?

Posted October 24, 2010 7:52 AM

The military has been developing mechanical exoskeletons to allow soldiers to lift and carry heavy loads. Would commercial development of such systems allow their use by handicapped individuals to walk independently over a variety of terrain, restoring their mobility, even for hiking?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Mechanical Power Transmission, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Mechanical Power Transmission today.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Member Engineering Fields - Systems Engineering - Member

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor
Posts: 5363
Good Answers: 646
#1

Re: Exoskeletons for the Disabled?

10/24/2010 11:45 AM

This would depend, of course, on the cause of the impairment. For an individual with an amputation or injured limb, this might work. But for persons who have degenerative brain or nerve diseases (MSA, Huntington's, ALS, cerebrellar lesions, myelopathy), where the motor neurons no longer function properly or where the brain-to-muscle systems have failed, this would not work. Even if the exoskeleton had a balancing system like a Segway that allowed the individual to stand, the signals to its arms and legs would be non-existent or erratic and it would not provide any aid to motion.

__________________
Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Member

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6
#2

Re: Exoskeletons for the Disabled?

10/25/2010 7:52 AM

I agree with the post above in that these units were designed as ASSIST mechanisms and not fully autonomous machines. The mechanisms will only assist the movement by reducing the load and effort required to move the linkages (limbs). It does not have the capacity to initiate motion. To do so would require a much larger machine footprint and will lead back the initial design problems of overburdening the subject.

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Posts: 2142
Good Answers: 31
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Exoskeletons for the Disabled?

10/25/2010 9:43 AM

Not to mention being horribly costly - of course with Obamacare it would be free?

Then everyone can pay!

Reply Score 2 for Off Topic
Associate

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 42
Good Answers: 3
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Exoskeletons for the Disabled?

10/28/2010 2:24 PM

Yes, but then the person can work and not be a burden to you through social assistance.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Reply to Blog Entry 4 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

edressler (1); russ123 (1); Techne (1); Usbport (1)

Previous in Blog: Pay Now or Later?   Next in Blog: No More Greasy Bike Chains?

Advertisement