‘Soft’ exoskeleton gains $2.9 million in DARPA funding

click to enlargeThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering an additional $2.9 million in development funding for its Soft Exosuit currently in prototype. The Wyss exoskeleton concept uses sensors, fabric that mimics muscles and tendons in addition to intuitive controls and a power supply. DARPA has been supporting several levels of research for some years as part of Warrior Web and other initiatives, which your Editors have been following. Exoskeletons in use right now are designed to assist humans in heavy lifting, or in aiding paraplegics to walk like the FDA-cleared ReWalk [TTA 2 July]. Its intended use is to support soldiers in the field but civilian applications would include assisting the disabled and older adults with motor impairments. Gizmag, Harvard Gazette, Wired UK  Also a look back at hard and soft robots including Wyss’ in Robots go squishy, exoskeletons do not, and here’s your drink

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