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Author Topic: New Technology Device Helps Children With Muscle Disease Move Their Hands  (Read 1220 times)

Offline internet police (OP)

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Children with diseases like muscular dystrophy may have a hard time moving with their weakening muscles. Now a new device, called Vigor, could help. The mechanism gives their muscles an additional boost to complete movements such as bending their wrists.

"What the user needs to do is just use a little bit of force with the device," said Vigor's designer, Xinyang Tan. It "will provide extra strength on the muscle to help the children complete the movement."

Tan, a graduate student at the Royal College of Art in London, was born with cerebral palsy, so he knows what it's like to have weak muscles.
The new apparatus, which goes over the hand and arm, has electromyography sensors on its sleeve that detect muscle signals and recognize what the user is about to do. It then sends a signal to the support mechanism on the wrist to trigger actuators that assist the muscle movement. By supporting the weak muscles, it helps the children finish their movement.

"Most of the diseases, like muscular dystrophy, are progressive, so the symptoms will become worse and worse, the muscles will become weaker and weaker," Tan said. So, he points out, if the children exercise their muscles using the device, their limbs will become stronger and more mobile.

There's no cure for muscular dystrophy, although symptoms may improve with treatment such as physical therapy.



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