Researchers from Georgia Tech College of Engineering have developed robotic boots that could help people to balance better, and may even be able to help older adults with balance impairments in the future. So, how is it possible?
For the researcher's study, they recreated the effect of a rug being pulled from underneath their participants. During their research, they discovered that the robotic boots work by reacting faster than human muscles would, eliminating the body's natural calf muscle stretch signal response alongside the need to take a recovery step forward. However, the control signals continued to function as normal. So, what makes this discovery so exciting?
As a result of their findings, the researchers think that the boots could be used to help individuals with balance impairments, or those with spinal cord injuries. It may even be able to help individuals who have had a stroke. However, more generally speaking, it could help humans to have quicker reflexes when wearing the robotic boots. Being able to treat these conditions would help people to live a more active and free lifestyle without the worry of falling or aggravating their condition. As a result, these "robo-boots" have great potential to make a positive impact on people's lives.
This wouldn't be the first time that robots have shown the potential to have a positive impact on human life. For example, experts predict that by 2035 robots could do 39% of our household chores, while other robots have shown the potential to shown great potential in cleaning up plastic pollution, such as BB the beach cleaning robot. Each of these advancements could each help to improve overall human life.