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Researchers Design Robotic Trousers To Help Mobility in Elderly

A team of researchers from the University of Bristol UK, have developed a unique pair of trousers that will enable movement in people with mobility issues. These robotic or “power trousers” which appear like track pants actually contain air-filled plastic bubbles that act like muscles to help raise legs from seated to standing position. While getting the technology ready for commercial use may be almost a decade away but the researchers are confident that these muscles will give elderly people that extra boost to stay mobile for several years. This technology could help both the people with age-related mobility issues and patients with muscular disabilities.

According to Prof Rossiter from the Bristol University who is a member of the research group, this product could be a big help to around 10 million people in the UK along that have mobility-related disabilities and more than 1.2 million people have had heart strokes that has limited their movement. Prof Rossiter’s mobility stimulation development team has been given £ 2 million of EPSRC funds to develop robotic solutions that will help people move around without assistance. The team consists of scientists from around seven UK based universities that are working to make prosthetics which give “bionic strength” during tasks like climbing stairs, walking or standing up.

According to a press release by the University of Strathclyde the team combined soft-robotics with 3-D printing and nanotechnology for making this robotic clothing. It is equipped with electrical stimulation and monitoring technologies of the body to reach and adapt itself to body movement circumstances and provide best suitable support. This technology that was showcased in British Science Festival at Hull is superior to other as it has been created as a reactive exoskeleton that works in tandem with the person’s muscles without causing any damage from external pressure.

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