Exoskeletons have a lot of uses, such as helping workers in factory lift heavy objects without straining their backs. It also has medical uses where it can help those who are paralyzed walk again, and for those in the US who might have need of such devices, you might be interested to learn that the FDA has recently approved the HAL exoskeleton suit to enter the US.
For those who are unfamiliar with HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb), this is an exoskeleton that is made by Japanese robotics company Cyberdyne. Working together with Brooks Rehabilitation, they are looking to bring the medical version of HAL to the US. The suit and technology have been in the works for about a decade and now would mark the first time it will be entering the US.
It is expected to eventually find its way to various parts of the country, but for now it will be used in the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center located in Jacksonville, Florida. The suit will be used to help patients who have spinal cord injuries or other disabilities where it will help to teach them to walk again. As you can see in the video above, the suit is worn mostly around the legs and midsection and can be controlled by the wearer’s mind where it will pick up on bio-electric signals from the wearer’s brain to their muscles.
The suit is also not meant to be a long-term solution, but rather an “intervention” where it will help get the rehab process going before patients transition back to regular therapy.