University of Waterloo team produces self-walking robot exoskeleton for those with mobility impairment

Published on 12 January 2022 at 20:20

Cheyenne Bholla I Record Reporter

WATERLOO — A self-walking robotic exoskeleton produced by University of Waterloo researchers is advancing technology to help those with mobility impairments.

ExoNet is a lower-body suit that uses computer vision and deep learning artificial intelligence to help users who have trouble moving on their own.

Deep learning is a special type of artificial intelligence that involves two components — the data collection and then what the algorithm chooses to do with that information.

Traditional exoskeletons would be manually controlled by a smartphone app or a joystick, said Brokoslaw Laschowski, the former University of Waterloo student who led the project.

ExoNet collects data from its surroundings using a wearable camera, such as a smartphone, in order to sense when the user wants to move and execute that movement safely.

The same way semi-autonomous cars can give the driver the freedom to focus on other tasks, he said this may be preferred in medical devices with “algorithms that substitute our human thoughts with artificial intelligence.”

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