It’s already! So as a paraplegic, who has witnessed these in action, I will run the top comment to explain a bit.
There are basically two types of “exoskeleton” robotic systems. One for those who can bear weight / stand and the other for those who cannot. There are many more difficulties to create the second, which is what this article is about. For myself, that can’t stand at all (my legs are as hard as extra cooked spaghetti noodles) A lot Something like this technology is more difficult to use. In addition to the need to support my weight, it requires balance for me And Start / stop walking. All servos and joints need to be neatly lined up and maintain perfection to avoid strain / force that could cause injury. The legs have to support me and I have to keep the balance When Walking which is much harder than a normal robot. The robot is predictable. Not people. My weight / balance will change significantly for each part of a step and will be different each time. Consider how many small muscles are working on your feet (especially toes / toes) to keep you balanced and how much core and back you need to balance while still standing and walking. Now imagine how difficult it would be to maintain balance if someone started to move your legs for you and you have zero control / attachment in your lower body. The device must compensate for that movement. This suit is really hard to balance when you go down. Then there is the whole matter of this unit being turned on every time, perfectly and rising to a permanent position.
So when That The suite type will be a bit more in the future (although some are available if you have unlimited funds) there are many more affordable suits for them To be able to Stand up, but don’t move your feet there. A really good friend of mine had a stroke when I was 17 years old. He is hemiplegic (one half, vertically, so his left side is paralyzed / very weak). He is able to stand. His right leg is completely normal. He can stand on his left leg, but can only pull while using the cane. He uses a device called Kyogo. As he could stand, the device was taught and taught to recognize his movements and actions based on his work, right, foot. It is able to walk, run, squat, sit and stand. I know two people who use this same device. The other person has a spinal cord injury but is able to stand without help and pull / pull his legs while using the hand crutch. So for her, it was awesome. He no longer needs a crutch because the unit helps guide his legs through walking speed.
This technology is coming along. For those who have and can have paraplegia, there is a much wider suite Something Stand / Weight Bear. The ability to stand and bear weight makes a significant difference between being able to use this technology now but being able to use technology in the future. See, one of the main side effects of being paralyzed and not moving your lower limbs is significant muscle contraction, aka “contraction”. I underwent surgery to release my iliopsoas muscle (hip flexor muscle) so that I could level my legs. And it also pulls down the back of my back. But, my knees are still permanently curved. My buttocks have also deteriorated to the point that they no longer resemble normal buttocks. For me, it would be impossible to use this technique because my legs would not be able to straighten or the joints would not work towards movement and stability. Finally, there is the issue of bone density. As with the astronaut’s mouth problem, if you do not bear the weight, there is significant mineral loss in the bones and they will not be strong enough to hold the weight at all. My bones would probably break if I tried to put my weight on them.
That being said, this technology is amazing for those who are able to use it. This is because patients are encouraged to use a fixed frame to maintain their range of motion (if possible) and to maintain bone density. Often patients do not do this because standing frames require quite a bit of dedication, such as a rig for a few hours a day that keeps you straight. You can’t move around. You stand there uncomfortably. And the agreement is hidden on you. Getting sick, having surgery and not using your range of motion for 2-3 weeks and you will notice a difference. It can happen a few times in 5-10 years and you, like me, are unable to straighten your legs even after spending significant time on it.
Another problem is, and it’s not a bad one, many people end up as patients and just want to take their lives. They are done with physio and standing frames Hope Of One day This technology is available and affordable. They want to work, go out with friends, do things with family, play sports, make a living, etc. Don’t live the “physio life” of feeling like a disabled patient forever. I have lived a remarkable and adventurous life so far. I get invited to talk a lot at the rehabilitation center and it involves a lot of talking to family members. I can’t even count how many times a family member came to me in the hope that I would hold their family member to the idea of “stay in therapy” and they would walk. Normally, whatever movement (not energy) you don’t get back in 6 months is not coming back. In almost every case, the person simply wants to live and not think about entering A lot Work so that they can stand with a bunch of help.
So it will be really interesting to see what happens once this technology advances to a stage that a new patient will probably see as part of rehabilitation. They do not come easily. Machines can do just that. For those who are completely paralyzed, being able to walk with one and maintain walking with another will be a lot of work. My experience is that there are two types of people; Those who are desperate to walk again and those who just want to move on and enjoy life. But right now, if you can stand it, the technology is there.