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Robotics Innovation Prosthetics

New Robotic Exoskeleton For Lower Limbs

2 months, 3 weeks ago

2903  0
Posted on Feb 27, 2024, 2 p.m.

Image Caption: Two features make TWIN unique in the world: it is made of lightweight materials, such as aluminum alloy, and it is composed of modular components, facilitating usability and transportation. Image Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

TWIN is a wearable robot exoskeleton designed for those with reduced or absent motor abilities in their lower limbs that was developed and designed by Rehab Technologies IIT-Inal. It was recently presented at a press conference in Milan at the Museum of Science and Technology and was demonstrated by two patients who were involved in testing during the development of the prototype.

The robotic lower limb exoskeleton allows spinal cord-injured patients to stand up, maintain an upright position, sit, and walk independently. According to the website, it will soon become a tool for clinical and rehabilitation use, with the possibility of providing feedback on the state of health of the patient being treated, of monitoring the main physiological parameters, also for safety purposes and of producing specific reports on progress and results, and customizing the route.

TWIN can be controlled by a user operation like a physiotherapist using specific Android applications that are installed on the companion tablet, and the interface allows for control of the execution of various programmed activities, setting the kinematic parameters of movement, and selecting different step execution modes. 

The robotic exoskeleton has three operating modes:

  • Walk mode which is designed for those with absent motor function.
  • Retrain mode which is designed for those with partial impairment of lower limb motor function
  • TwinCare mode which is designed for those with partial and differentiated motor impairment between limbs

Two features make this robotic exoskeleton unique, being made of lightweight materials and composed of modular components facilitating usability and transportation. The structure is built to be adjustable based on the user’s physical characteristics via telescopic links that are placed at the levels of the femur and tibia, with foot and ankle supports in various sizes to adapt to the user’s ergonomics. The operating models are also more adaptable to the patient, being capable of evaluating the user’s degree of motor deficit, particularly the user’s ability to perform autonomous walking. 

Although this is a prototype model, CE marking is forthcoming in partnership with an industrial partner, which will be followed by an industrialization process. Once on the market it can be used by those who need it to reintegrate those who were severely injured into social and work environments. According to the website, along with being used in rehab clinics for physiotherapy sessions, TWIN can also be worn daily, even for a few hours because assuming an upright position holds significant benefits in terms of musculoskeletal, circulatory, physiological, and digestive system functionality for wheelchair users. 

Accompanying video:

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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Image Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

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