A health-tech start-up of Indian origin has developed an exoskeleton which can be used as a robotic arm or a leg for paraplegic patients with the incorporation of robotics along with artificial intelligence (AI). GenElek Technologies, the startup had the privilege to be chosen to represent India at the auspicious event Powered Exoskeleton Race, Cybathlon 2020, the event had taken place in Zurich before the coronavirus outbreak.
Exoskeletons are externally worn robotic support system which makes it possible for people with neurological conditions such as paralysis, spinal cord injuries, stroke and other ailments to be able to work or move better. Models such as the GenElek’s can be tailored to the customer design as per individual’s needs. Such models can also aid paraplegics to walk again from simple feats such as learning to complex feats such as driving a car.
How do this work!
The idea underlying this concept is that by being able to start coupling between the brain and the machine should work in such a fashion where the brains must start thinking and accepting the machine, not as a machine or separate part but rather an extension of the body. For example, assume that you are driving a car then your brain starts thinking about the moves it will make whilst driving a car! The brain happens to somehow adapt to the car as if it were a part of its body. Keeping this idea in mindset it would be rather grateful to own an exoskeleton that would be easily adopted by the brain in the very same way.
The idea is that the human brain can comprehend electrical signals from various machines as well as peripheral nerves. Usage of soft exoskeleton for paraplegic patients will help many of them wear these machines like a piece of clothing which can sense the user’s movement intentions and also be able to provide almost instantaneous feedback. Incorporation of this along with recent advances being made in the brain-machine interfaces will allow the real-time measurement of brain response and reactions and further enable the seamless adaption of such exoskeletons to be customized as per needs of the customers.