The UK's first Ekso Centre is opening in Leeds giving people with spinal cord injuries and other neurological weaknesses the opportunity to stand and walk in a bionic exoskeleton, under clinical supervision.
Ekso Bionics Ltd, creator of the exoskeleton Ekso, is teaming up with specialist clinic, Technology in Motion, to give people the opportunity to access the ready-to-wear, battery powered device for the first time.
More clinics are set to follow, creating a network of Ekso Centres across the UK.
Steve Mottram of Technology in Motion said: "For the first time, people with spinal cord injuries can have access to this technology and we are delighted to be involved."
"At our Leeds consulting rooms we work with patients from across the UK to provide orthotic care. The Ekso Centres are a welcome addition to the range of services available here."
The Centre will also be used by the first UK test pilots of the exoskeleton - David Follett, Suzanne Edwards and Andrew Glenie. They have all suffered a spinal cord injury and have already taken their first steps in Ekso.
Each Ekso can be adjusted in just a few minutes to fit most people between 5'2" (1.5m) and 6'2" (1.9m), weighing 100kgs or less with at least partial upper body strength and good range of motion. Simple Velcro straps secure Ekso safely to the user, over their clothing and shoes. The wearable robot provides unprecedented knee flexion, which translates into the most natural human gait available in any exoskeleton today.
In order to use Ekso, patients will have to be cleared and screened by a physician to ensure they have a good range of motion in all leg joints, reasonable upper body strength and must be proficient with sitting balance and transfers from wheelchair to other surfaces.
The Ekso also requires the patient to provide balance and forward momentum. Once assessed, candidates will have the opportunity to walk and train at the Ekso Centre on a regular basis.
- Ekso is the bionic exoskeleton that allows wheelchairusers to stand and walk. ·
- There are four electromechanical motorsand an intelligent algorithm to provide patients with a natural gait.
- Anyone with lower extremity weakness or paralysis could potentially benefit from it.
- Leeds is the first place in the UK to have a centre offering the Ekso suit.
- It is designed to maneuver through doors and narrow corridors, and users can sit in ordinary chairs.
- It's designed to be worn over everyday clothes and takes minutes to put it on and remove it.