Stroke patients who have difficulty walking may soon benefit from an invention developed in the United States. A team of researchers has created a soft robotic ‘exosuit’ to help patients walk around with confidence.
A stroke can cause weakness on one side of the body, leaving many survivors with difficulty sitting or standing. About a fifth can walk but develop a condition called ‘drop foot’ where they cannot lift their toes quickly enough.
Previous robotic exoskeletons, designed to help with rehabilitation, have tended to be rigid and bulky and are impractical to wear during everyday activities. The new device consists of an ankle-support system weighing only 0.9kg, the same as two footballs.
More than 100,000 people in the UK suffer strokes each year, and 1.2 million people are living with the after effects. Almost two-thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability.
More about this can be read in The Times here (subscirption)