Super Light Exoskeleton Helps People with Paraplegia Climb Steps
Thanks to an exoskeleton called TWIICE developed at EPFL, people with paraplegia can stand up, walk, and even climb steps. One of TWIICE's main advantages is that it's light. Because the device weighs under 9 lbs - it consists mainly of composite materials - it easily becomes one with the user. The hip and knee joints are flexed and extended by two electric motors per leg, and the exoskeleton's charge lasts for three hours. The device can bear the entire weight of the user, who still needs crutches to maintain balance and a steady gait. There are buttons in the handles to actuate steps and set the pace: fast walk, slow walk, climb steps, stop, etc. The device is not yet ready for daily use by the general public. But after a year and a half of work, the researchers have come up with a prototype that is both safe and operational enough for testing.