Ottobock Professionals, a German company specializing in prosthetics and assistive technologies, has recently made headlines with its electric body suit. This innovative device has the potential to help millions of people who suffer from mobility challenges due to conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
Ottobock Professionals: Revolutionizing Mobility with Their Electric Body Suit
The electric body suit is designed to help people walk by relaxing spastic muscles. It comprises 58 electrodes that send mild electrical stimulation to 40 key muscle groups in the legs, hips, and lower back. The suit is customizable and can be adjusted to the user’s height, weight, and physical ability. (1)
“When you turn a suit on, you activate a lot of electrodes on the inside of a suit to reach muscles that the brain cannot reach. Through brain injury, some muscles are beyond the reach of the brain, and the suit replaces the signal that the brain cannot produce anymore,” Fredrick Lundqvist, chiropractor and inventor of the Exopulse Mollii Suit told the BBC. (2)
One of the most significant advantages of the electric body suit is that it allows people to walk more smoothly and with less effort. People with spasticity often have difficulty controlling their movements, which can make walking challenging and exhausting. The electrical stimulation provided by the suit can help alleviate this problem by relaxing the muscles and making them more responsive to movement.
The electric body suit has already shown promising results in field tests. It is designed to be worn just for one hour every other day. For those lucky enough to have used it already, it has been a game changer.
“It’s allowed me to become more confident. When I walk, which has allowed me just to be more independent. Before I had it, I could do certain things but not what I can do now. It’s very important for me to be able to get things and do things like everyone else,” said 12-year-old Moya-May Kelly from Dublin, who has cerebral palsy. (3)
While the electric body suit is still in the early stages of development, it has the potential to change the lives of millions of people around the world. It represents a significant step forward in the field of assistive technology and could provide a new level of independence and mobility for those who have been confined to wheelchairs or stuck with other mobility devices.
The Expulse Suit
The Exopulse jacket and pants are made from breathable and washable synthetic materials that contain no animal products or fibers. There are no major side effects reported thus far, and the wearer still gets to feel in control via a button. While most patients do see pretty immediate results, doctors remind us that this isn’t a magic bullet. It still takes work and dedication on the part of the patient.
“If they show a benefit, these patients need to continue with this therapy. But with neural plasticity, one would imagine that there are new neural pathways that are developing, that are beneficial for the condition, and the patient can use their device less and less.” said Surfers Health Medical Centre Practice Principal Dr. Mark Jeffery. (4)
Ottobock Professionals has a long history of innovation. The company was founded in 1919 by Otto Bock, who himself lost an arm in World War I. He went on to develop the first prosthetic arm with a movable elbow joint, an invention that revolutionized the field of prosthetics and continues to be used today. Since then, Ottobock has continued to push the boundaries of what is possible in the field of assistive technologies. (5)
The electric body suit is just one example of the company’s commitment to helping people with mobility challenges live fuller, more independent lives. With its customizable design and innovative use of electrical stimulation, the suit represents a significant step forward in the field of assistive technology. As the technology continues to develop, it may one day become a widely available mobility device that could help millions of people regain their independence and mobility.
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- “An electric body suit helps people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, walk.” Interesting Engineering. Deena Theresa. December 2022.
- “The ‘life-changing’ electric suit.” BBC. Myra Anubi. December 3, 2022.
- “High-tech body suit gives Dublin girl with celebral palsy new lease on life.” Newstalk. May 2022.
- “What Is The Mollii Suit? How Does It Work?.” Surfers Health. Suvi. February 2021.
- “100 years of mobility for people.” Ottobock