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Hyundai debuts a miracle device that can help paraplegics walk

Опубликовано : 1-09-2017, 15:35 | Категория: Technology news   

Like most automakers at this year's CES, Hyundai has focused on its concept car for self-driving. But the real innovation demonstrated by the company had nothing to do with the vehicles.

A spherical display with a trio of prototypes of exoskeletons sat on the side of the crowded stand. Hyundai hopes to enter the market soon. Each of the devices offered a different functionality - helping in industrial work, helping to carry older people and giving paraplegians an opportunity to walk again. Hyundai says he hopes to make the H-MEX more accessible than existing exoskeletons, since it has plants capable of mass production of other types of mobile devices.
"A car is one of the mobility devices," says Jung Kyungmo, senior research fellow at Human Factors and Devices Research Group in Hyundai. "Exoskeletons are another mobile device that we think, so we developed [this]."

Of course, Hyundai was not the first to create an exoskeleton, but it is approaching the field, as it was with the automobile industry: in order to make them more accessible and accessible to a wider audience.


However, most likely, it will be some time before they are available commercially. Kyungmo says that all the devices that were shown and demonstrated on the CES were prototypes, and they just started doing clinical trials to obtain an FDA certificate in the United States (and the corresponding medical certification in Korea). Currently, he does not expect to achieve this goal until 2018. And even when this milestone is reached, the product will face a slow deployment of consumers.

H-MEX (Hyundai Medical Exoskeleton), developed for paraplegia, was the first exoskeleton born in the research laboratories of the company. This device not only allows people paralyzed below the waist to take action, but also improves blood circulation among patients. In addition, says Kyungmo, the exoskeleton can be used in rehabilitation for patients with spinal injuries that did not lead to permanent paralysis.

For the outdoor observer, the H-MEX resembles an old-style leg brace (think about what young Forrest Gump wore in the Oscar in 1994) with a bulky battery pack located in the back of the user. The length of the legs on the exoskeleton can be adjusted for any user.

Aluminum frame, which is attached to the legs, legs and back with hinges on the knee and waist, has a backpack with a lithium battery that lasts up to four hours. Carbon fiber walking sticks have controls that move each leg forward, instruct the device to sit down and tell him to climb the stairs.

Obstacles to come

They are used in conjunction with crutches that are equipped with controls that move each leg forward, instruct the device to sit down and tell him to climb the stairs. Inspired by H-MEX, the company then developed the H-WEX (Hyundai Waist Exoskeleton), designed to facilitate the work of workers working in factories.

"The robot gives them additional back support ... This can help the worker ... raise a heavy object," says Kyungmo.

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After that, HUMA (Hyundai Universal Mobility Assist), which was designed to transport elderly people and could have potential military applications.

In addition to the FDA's permission, there are several issues concerning H-MEX. This is not for everyone. For example, users should be no shorter than 5 feet 4 inches. The cost has not been announced yet.

Hyundai is not alone in the world of exoskeletons. Rex Bionics, based in London, also has a device for paraplegia, although it is not yet sold in the United States, in part because it was not registered with the FDA. However, the publicly traded ReWalk (RWLK) does sell exoskeletons in the country, and it was the first company to have been authorized by the FDA to use them for personal and rehabilitative use in the United States. ReWalk Personal 6.0 has a list price of $ 77,000.

While Hyundai does not even speculate on prices at this time, it says that it hopes to make the H-MEX more affordable than existing exoskeletons, since it already has plants capable of mass-producing other types of mobile devices.
Source: cnbc.com

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