Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 08:17 AM IST

People with semi-paralysis can now walk with exoskeleton TWIICE

Updated: Nov 10, 2016 15:19 IST
New Delhi [India], Nov. 10 (ANI): People suffering with paraplegia (incomplete paralysis affecting the legs and possibly also the trunk) would now be able to stand, walk and even climb stairs as researchers at EPFL, Switzerland have developed an exoskeleton called TWIICE.

A walking assist device, developed entirely at EPFL's Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO), can bear the entire weight of the user, who has to use crutches to maintain balance and a steady gait. There are buttons in the handles to actuate steps and set the pace: fast walk, slow walk, climb steps, stop, etc.

Embassy of Switzerland is celebrating the "Year of Swiss Innovation in India (YoSI)" 2015-16. This is to create awareness about the innovation ecosystem in Switzerland. Switzerland has topped the global innovation index for sixth consecutive year.

Talking about the functioning of TWIICE, the makers of the device told ANI, "TWIICE is a lower limb exoskeleton. It consists of a structure, which acts like our bones and provide support to the person, and of electrical motors which move the legs at the joints. There are four motors in total, two for the hips and two for the knees."

Answering our doubts on the safety concern of device, they said, "Safety is a major concern of assistive devices. In the case of exoskeletons, the user is in charge of balance, and uses crutches to stabilize. Learning how to use an exoskeleton requires training, like learning how to ride a bike. After training, the user quickly becomes accustomed."

The goal of TWIICE, according to them, is to offer users a personal and customized exoskeleton, tailored to their needs in terms of pathology, morphology and user experience. The design has intentionally been kept simple, thus conferring robustness, reliability and lightness to the device.

TWIICE weighs less than 15 kg, and unless others exoskeletons in the same weight range, it enables stair climbing and steep slope ascent. This is an important difference, as stairs are a major activity of the daily living.

"This exoskeleton is battery powered," said the makers of TWIICE and added, "which makes it work completely autonomously, so that the user can walk outside and gain independence. The battery enables autonomy of two-three hours of active walking which can vary depending on the activity, as climbing stairs takes more power than walking or standing."

When ANI asked the manufacturers about the reason of choosing India for promotion, they said, "Although statistics may vary, there are an estimated one million people who may need an exoskeleton to walk again in India. Our vision is to improve accessibility of this kind of technology to more people."

"By increasing the number of devices produced, cost could substantially decrease and this would benefit all the people in need. There is a clear incentive from the Indian authorities to foster accessibility to technology for the disabled and our vision goes along the same lines," they added. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Expressing her delight over the passing of Mental Healthcare bill in the Lok Sabha, a therapist thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the elected representatives for taking an initiative for people who are struggling with mental issue.

Full Story >>

Washington.D.C. [USA], Mar. 29 (ANI): A study finds that gastric acid suppression drugs increase the risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection - which causes diarrhea and life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

Full Story >>

Ranchi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Health Minister of Jharkhand, Ramchandra Chandravanshi has recently claimed that the state has come a long way from the day when Jharkhand was on 18th number among states as far as their healthcare services were concerned. It now stands third in the country, according to an independent survey.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): Exposure to fungal product, called aflatoxin, is believed to cause up to 80 percent of liver cancer cases in many parts of the world.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A recent study has found that a sleepless night impairs your ability to interpret subtle expressions of happiness and sadness.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): When it comes to new moms' workout programs, less is more and so, according to a Kansas State University researcher, new moms may need a bit more flexibility and support to ease back into exercise after giving birth.

Full Story >>

New approach to diagnosing mental disorders

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 10:48 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): A consortium of psychiatrists and psychologists has proposed a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Fecal transplant offers hope for autistic kids

Updated: Mar 26, 2017 09:37 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 26 (ANI): In this new era of medical therapy dawning, fecal transplants are poised to help fight a range of conditions, from deadly superbugs to obesity and now, autism is in the firing line.

Full Story >>

Thiruvallur (Chennai) [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): A highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) has affected Karani village on the outskirts of Tamil Nadu's Tiruvallur district.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 confirm what we all knew from clinical evidence - that hypertension has become a major health concern among the Indian population, with as many as 22% Indians hypertensive.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has discovered a new gene that is associated with Tau accumulation, which is one of the defining features of Alzheimer disease (AD).

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): Scientists have found that stem cell therapy repairs damaged lungs - raising hopes of a cure for the crippling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Full Story >>

New method can cut dental implant failure

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 09:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a fluorogenic probe that can detect the activity of multidrug-resistant pathogens in an assay system.

Full Story >>

Virus hydrophobicity can help purify vaccines

Updated: Mar 25, 2017 07:46 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on why survivors of childhood brain tumours may be prone to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and early death.

Full Story >>