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Future of mobility could see use of mind-controlled exoskeleton

29th April 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A scientific development could change the future for those who cannot walk, or have difficulty walking, after research into mind-controlled exoskeletons has been coming on in leaps and bounds.

A team of researchers have been working tirelessly on the Mindwalker project for a number of years, investigating how a robotic exoskeleton can help those who use stairlifts regularly as part of daily life. Known officially as the 'mind-controlled orthosis and VR-training environment for walk empowering' project, funding from the European Commission has enabled researchers from Space Applications Services in Belgium to make considerable progress with the project.

The Mindwalker team have managed to create a light-weight robotic exoskeleton which uses a system based on 'brain-neural-computer-interface' (BNCI) technology, meaning that brain signals are able to bypass the spinal cord and are instead turned into electronic commands which control the exoskeleton.

The overall design of the BNCI technology and the exoskeleton have been created by the combined efforts of a number of institutions, including the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Movement Biomechanics at the Universit