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"