Help Seniors To Walk Faster
Being unable to walk quickly can be a problem, especially as people age. Engineers at Stanford University have tested how well a prototype exoskeleton system they have developed, which attaches around the shin and into a running shoe, increased the self-selected walking speed of people in an experimental setting. The exoskeleton is externally powered by motors and controlled by an algorithm. When the researchers optimised it for speed, participants walked, on average, 42% faster than when they were wearing normal shoes and no exoskeleton. The researchers plan to run future tests with older adults and to look at other ways the exoskeleton design can be improved. They also hope to eventually create an exoskeleton that can work outside the lab.