An injury to the arm can lead to serious limitations in everyday life. Scientists have now developed an exoskeleton that can restore strength and endurance to the affected muscles. At first glance, the Myoshirt looks relatively unimpressive. Developed by researchers at ETH Zurich, the arm exomuscle resembles a thin wired vest, but it can do great things. The Myoshirt is designed to compensate for discomfort and injuries to the upper body.
The vest and arm cuff combination uses sensors that detect the wearer's movements and activate a motor that shortens an artificial tendon that runs parallel to the arm muscles. This tendon releases additional strength and endurance. Especially for people suffering from muscular dystrophy, the Exomuscle is a valuable gadget. Tests have shown that people who are limited by the regression of their muscles were able to increase their endurance by 60 percent through the external muscle. Even people suffering from no diseases or injuries lasted up to 30 percent longer than usual.
Myoshirt is still to be optimized
However, the Myoshirt still has one small disadvantage in its current form: Its weight is currently just under four kilograms. Not exactly the best weight for people who are already struggling with muscle atrophy. According to the team's own announcement, it plans to limit the focus to shoulder support in order to make the design as small and light as possible. The goal, they say, is for the smart gadget to be able to be worn inconspicuously under clothing. Accordingly, it will still take time before the product is really ready for the market.
"Hospitals have many good therapy devices, but they are often very expensive and bulky. And there are few technical aids that patients can use directly in everyday life and refer to for assistance in performing exercises at home," says Marie Georgarakis, a former doctoral student at the Sensory Motor Systems Lab at ETH Zurich in the official Press release. The researchers want to close this gap with the Myoshirt.
Source: This muscle can be tightened: Researchers develop exo-arm (t3n.de) (17.10.2022)