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The Advancement Of Human Motion Control

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 2:35pm
Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor PD&D

Parker Hannifin creates a robotic lower limb orthotic device with intuitive torque, power.

When it comes to wearable robotics and exoskeletons, the engineers behind the Indego Exoskeleton are striving to be at the forefront of this emerging technology. Parker Hannifin, with the cooperation of Vanderbilt University created an exoskeleton with one primary goal in mind: to create a useful, well-designed, user-friendly, empathetic product that would improve the lives of its users. There is certainly no shortage of wearable robotic products floating around, but what makes the Indego different is its user-friendly design. The Indego gives people dealing with paralysis the ability to walk again. Since the whole purpose of the mechanism is to give those confined to a wheelchair greater mobility, the engineers sought a practical, yet empathetic approach to the design process. They wanted to create a device that was durable, yet lightweight. It was important to make the end product intuitive enough for people to use with ease and comfort.

How Indego Works

The Indego Exoskeleton is a robotic-powered, lower limb orthotic device, specifically designed to provide assistance to those with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). It also assists stroke patients by providing torque to the hips and knees. The orthotic device provides the significant joint torque necessary for patients to walk and climb stairs, and includes a custom-made embedded system powered by a lithium polymer battery, which gives it up to four hours of continuous walking time.

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