Soft Robotic Exosuit Enhances Mobility in Individuals Affected by Parkinson’s Disease

January 06, 2024

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences have introduced a soft, wearable robot designed to alleviate one of Parkinson's disease's most prevalent and debilitating symptoms: freezing.

The soft robotic exosuit, worn around the hips and thighs, provides a gentle push to the hips during leg swings, facilitating a more extended stride for the individual. Remarkably, the device entirely eliminated freezing episodes during indoor walking, enabling the patient to move faster and cover more distance than without the robotic assistance. This innovative application of soft robotics not only showcases its potential in addressing a challenging symptom of Parkinson's disease but also opens avenues for individuals affected by the condition to regain both mobility and independence. The research signifies a significant stride toward developing effective interventions for Parkinson's patients, offering hope for improved quality of life.