A wearable robotic leg brace that can help partially paralysed people walk was unveiled in Tokyo, Japan. The system, called 'Welwalk', is made up of a motorised mechanical frame that fits on a person's leg from the knee down.
Patients wearing the robotic device can then practice walking on a special treadmill that can support their weight.
The gadget is designed to be worn on one leg at a time for patients severely paralysed on one side of the body due to a stroke or other ailments.
The welwalk comes with a range of rehabilitation support functions based on motor learning theory, including the ability to adjust the difficulty level to suit the patient, and to provide feedback about the patient's gait characteristics.
One hundred such systems will be rented to medical facilities in Japan later this year.
Feedback from patients and healthcare persons involved in the clinical research indicates that the wewalk has the potential to aid in lower limb recovery, and as a result, the use of the robot as a medical device has been officially approved and certified.