Robot Helps Humans Regain Ability To Walk

robot-physical-therapy-walkingI’ve been working as an outpatient physical therapist for well over 15 years. As such I haven’t worked with any patients that are recovering from a stroke or spinal cord injury in quite a while.

But I read this article today and had to write a post on it.

Because this is just cool…!

This comes straight from the article: “A team of researchers has invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural gait.”

If you’ve never worked with a person right after a stroke or spinal cord injury (or other such neurological insult) to help them walk – you may not appreciate how cool this really is.

One of the biggest challenges for the physical therapist is to provide enough physical support during weight bearing. That means having enough strength to hold an adult up. The sooner you start the process (and usually sooner is better) the less weaker the patient is. So strength REALLY is an issue for early intervention.

And for the patient it means having full confidence in the therapists to hold them up. Even when the patient is using assistive devices like parallel bars or a walker – confidence is always an issue.

The support provided by a robot would help with both challenges.

I’m excited to see how this technology develops over the next several years. It’s awesome to think about how many people can be helped to regain their independence faster and better after such a life altering event.