Exoskeleton with muscle imitation will help people cope with limb injuries


Researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) have developed a device to treat patients with hand injuries who need to restore muscle function. The device is called "Myoshirt", it simulates the work of the tendons and takes on part of the load during exercise. It resembles an exoskeleton in operation, but unlike it, it does not endow a person with additional strength or endurance.


Myoshirt consists of a vest, arm cuffs, a cable system, a motor and a set of sensors. The latter read the movements of the human body and activate the motor, which pulls the cable and makes the arm bend or unbend. Patients with muscular dystrophy were able to perform 60% more exercise with Myoshirt than without it.


Myoshirt currently weighs over 4kg and is bulky and not very comfortable. The authors of the development promise to release a more compact version, but this is a secondary task. Myoshirt is a medical device, not intended for everyday use, but as a home equivalent of physical therapy devices in a hospital so that patients do not have to travel there for daily exercise.