Robotic exoskeleton for arms

 News Events Img 2009 01 Rosen-400
Engineers at the University of California, Santa Cruz built this prototype robotic exoskeleton to amplify the strength of the wearer's arms. Noninvasive electrodes on the skin detect the neural activity in muscles and translate those signals into movements of the robot arms. Lead researcher Jacob Rosen says his latest exoskeleton provides 95 percent of a human's natural range of motion. From UCSC:
"People with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disabilities could use the exoskeleton to amplify their muscle strength, and it could also be used for rehabilitation and physical therapy," said Rosen, an associate professor of computer engineering in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "One of the major challenges in this field is to establish an effective human-machine interface, or 'bio-port,' between the operator and the wearable robot, such that the robot becomes a natural extension of the human body," he said. "This bio-port may be established at the neural level, allowing the human brain to control the wearable robot with the same type of signals that it uses to control its own actuators, the muscles."
"Medical robotics expert explores the human-machine interface"

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  1. Why only two robotic arms? Wouldn’t four be better? And it would be really cool if the arms could telescope out, too.

    Oh, never mind, it appears a certain Stan Lee already came up with my idea in 1963.

  2. There is a team in Japan that already created this years ago (with noninvasive electrodes) – maybe the only new thing here is that it is for the arm instead of legs.

  3. “People with muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular disabilities could use the exoskeleton to amplify their muscle strength, and it could also be used for rehabilitation and physical therapy,”

    Or it could be used for AWESOME street combat!

    “One of the major challenges in this field is to establish an effective human-machine interface, or ‘bio-port,’ between the operator and the wearable robot, such that the robot becomes a natural extension of the human body,”

    Or the major challenge could be learning how to use the back-alley installed gravity-blades in SPACE!

  4. >95 percent of a human’s natural range of motion

    minus the part where arms are BOLTED to the wall and TETHERED to powersupply

  5. Let’s not all get our hopes up yet. Buried in the article is this underwhelming detail:

    Rosen has demonstrated this system for control of a single joint (flexing and extending the elbow).

    Not exactly ready for a boxing match with the Alien Queen.

  6. @#4, I don’t see why you couldn’t make the Loader now… It wasn’t exactly high tech, it had thumb controls for the loader/hands, and in general microswitches could accommodate a basic level of usability…

    I’m waiting for it to be neural based, so I can jack in…

    Anyone ever see Robot Jox…oh yes that will be our future.

  7. “Noninvasive electrodes on the skin”

    But couldn’t they make them invasive? You know, IN the skin. I mean, if they really tried hard…

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