Walk Like A Robot

I would walk five hundred miles …. with robotic help?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Everytime we move, we use energy. And we’re supposed to get in HOW MANY steps in a day? I’m tired just WALKING about it!

So Juneil Park and researchers from South Korea and Chicago had a crazy idea. Make a wearable skeleton! An EXOSKELETON!

This exosuit features sensors and adjustable cables connecting over the hip to assist with movement. Just like an extra muscle outside of your body! Ten healthy participants tested the exosuit across different treadmill activities for an hour. Sensors measured stability factors such as stance, foot placement, and step width.

And? The exosuit’s boost reduced the energy used for normal walking by almost TWELVE percent! Robotic hips don’t lie!

Post-surgery recovery presents challenges for walking and mobility. Improved walking prosthetics may help people get back on their feet sooner!

So before you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, maybe consider a matching exosuit!

Reference: Park, J et al. Effect of hip abduction assistance on metabolic cost and balance during human walking. Sci Robot 8, eade0876 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.ade0876