What is Exoskeleton?

From A Greek word “Exo” means outer and “Skeletos” means skeleton, the word “Exoskeleton” originated. Theoretically Exoskeleton means it provides external support and protections to a living being with comparison to  internal skeleton or endoskeleton.

Here i’m talking about Robotic Exoskeleton. It is an external structural mechanism with joints & links powered by electric motors, Pneumatic, levers, hydraulics or combination of 2 or more technologies to mimic the limbs movement corresponding to those of the human body.

In recent years Robotic Exoskeleton became a major part Robotic industry,though a decade ago it  used to be only confined in novels and fiction movies.

Typically Robotic Exoskeleton has applications in Medical & defense industries. Exoskeletons offer benefits for both disabled and healthy populations with applications in rehabilitation medicine and virtual reality simulation.

Applications Of Exoskeleton In Medical Industry :

Medical industry is uplifted by robotic apparatus, be it robotic assisted surgery or mobility assisting device or exoskeleton for physically disabled people.

Most of us take the regular motion for granted. Only people with disability values the fact that how important it is for a human-being to stand in his feet and walk normally. those people only only rely on robotic exoskeletons to walk like a normal one without being operated.

Who can use Robotic Exoskeleton:

  1. People having slight disability by birth or fairly because of some accidents.

  2. Those who have Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and can’t lift their lower portion due to this injury.

  3. Men who had Brain Stroke and partially got paralyzed.

  4. Because of aging old age people also need light weighted Robotic exoskeleton sometimes.

You can find a hundreds of videos over the internet,yet i’m attaching a link which shows 10 advanced Exoskeletons and their uses:

Applications Of Exoskeleton In Defense Industry :

Practically Robotic exposures in defense industry is comparatively less. Though we use drones and technologically advanced weapons in defense still robotic exoskeletons are altogether in very beginning stage.

The HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier) by Ekso Bionics and Lockheed Martin and the XOS and XOS2 by Sarcos/Raytheon are the two major exoskeleton projects for the military came into public’s eye around 2010.

While the HULC wasn’t a successful project , Ekso Bionics and Lockheed Martin teams fought very hard to make it work.

Challenges for Powered Exoskeleton:

  1. Bulky in structure & heavy Weight.

  2. Difficulties in wearing specially for patients having disability.

  3. Huge power consumption and battery backup problem.

  4. Highly expensive for common people.

Instead of these challenges robotic exoskeletons are high in demand and one of the hot topics of recent times. Over these years military exoskeletons evolved a lot . From a very bulky and heavy weighted Exo it became comparatively light weighted and more advanced and specialized device.

It plays a great role in therapy assistance and in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Even in the industry it has a promising part for assist able-bodied workers with heavy-duty tasks.