Robotic suit to aid paralysis victims

  • 2013-11-27
  • From wire report

KAUNAS -Students at the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) have developed an innovative solution aiding recovery of patients suffering from major trauma injuries, reports ELTA. Developers of the idea visited startup ‘mecca’ Silicon Valley in California. There the solution was evaluated as among the top five best innovations in the ‘Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.’

KTU students’ innovation is an exoskeleton - a robot-like costume with virtual reality glasses. Connected to an energy source, the exoskeleton assists paralyzed people and those with reduced mobility to easier perform movement, train and recover faster.
The seven-man team consisting of various specialty students had different ideas at first for the project before settling on this one.

“We started by creating simulation armor for various games, and a virtual reality glasses-helmet allowing to see alternative reality. Finally, we came up with a device for recovering patients,” said Tadas Spundzevicius, a student of the KTU Electrical and Control Engineering Faculty.
Although other devices based on exoskeleton technology exist, the KTU students’ idea involves an element of virtual reality.

“Wearing our costume, people would not feel that they are performing boring, monotonous exercises. Instead, they would see that they are climbing mountains, exercising on a beach or walking through a forest. Virtual reality glasses created by our team allow people to move to any place in the world. In rehabilitation clinics the costume could be used in special rooms in combination with various [additional sensors], for instance, sound or smell effects,” elucidated Spundzevicius.
The university announced that the team was established in the Technology Entrepreneurship course. This is the only course in Lithuania for students of engineering and technology that uses interactive teaching methods to promote transformation of ideas into inventions and to introduce them to potential investors.

The students were encouraged by lecturers to apply for the ‘Challenge.’ Four members - Laima Masaleviciute, Ruta Mejeroviciute, Lukas Gerbenis and Aurimas Brazaitis - presented the idea. Their trip was funded by Kaunas University of Technology.