Smart Robotic Exoskeleton Predicts & Prevents the Elderly from Falling

The first smart exoskeleton that recognizes the loss of balance - and prevents falling - has been developed by researchers in at Scuola Sant'Anna in Italy, EPFL in Switzerland, and tested at the Rehabilitation Center 'Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi' in Florence. The device has sensors that can tell when a limb starts to buckle or flail, and lightweight motors which exert instant force on both legs to restore balance. Called the 'Active Pelvis Orthosis' or APO, it is attached to a belt worn around the middle that holds small motors at the hips, and soft braces strapped to the thighs. The APO could also help disabled people and amputees.