Powered exoskeleton suits are nothing new, but this version developed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is a first. Their new exo suit is designed specifically for children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
SMA devastates the body’s motor neurons, and children afflicted with the disease experience a gradual loss of mobility. In many cases, the patent ends up bedridden.
The CSIC’s exoskeleton can help prevent this outcome by getting these kids on their feet and active. The suit boasts five motors in each leg that utilize sensors that activate whenever there’s “the slightest intention of movement.” The suit also features telescoping supports, so it can be adjusted as the wearer grows.
The CISC is currently testing the exoskeleton with several volunteer children in Spain. With any luck, similar suits will be available for all patients in the near future.