Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Exoskeleton

PostedApril 20, 2014

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lead: Next weekend, at the U-S-A Science and Engineering Expo here in D-C, you can meet a paralyzed woman who will demonstrate how she can now walk with the help of a new technology.

Randy Atkins: Amanda Boxtel’s legs are completely paralyzed from a spinal cord injury. But she can now stand up and walk on a regular basis thanks to an exoskeleton. Russ Angold, an engineer and co-founder of Ekso Bionics, says it’s basically a wearable robot with electric motors that mimic Amanda’s muscles.

Russ Angold: She controls it just by her movement. So by shifting her weight, just like you or I do to walk, that actually signals the exoskeleton or the robot on what to do and when to take that next step.

Randy Atkins: Angold says motor strength can be adjusted depending upon user needs and it’s just for rehabilitation now.

Russ Angold: We don’t jump, we don’t run, we don’t dance yet. But those things will come in the future.

Randy Atkins: As could its ability to help people like soldiers carry very heavy loads. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.