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Boy, 8, stricken with cerebral palsy takes his first steps due to a recent exoskeleton

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Boy, 8, stricken with cerebral palsy takes his first steps due to a recent exoskeleton with mechanical joints that adapt to his movements

  • David Zabala has been restricted to a wheel chair resulting from cerebral palsy
  • He used an exoskeleton during therapy that allowed him to walk for the primary time
  • The suit, called Atlas 2030, features battery-powered mechanical joints that adapt to the wearer’s movements 

An eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has been restricted to a wheelchair all his life, but he recently took his first steps due to a robotic exoskeleton designed specifically for kids.

David Zabala was fitted with a recent Atlas 2030 exoskeleton that features mechanical joints that adapt to his motions, allowing him to finally walk freely.

The innovation is an element of a therapy method getting used at a facility in Mexico City, because research shows that allowing paralyzed children the chance to walk ‘not only extends their life expectancy and enhances their physical well-being, but additionally improves their self-esteem.’

The suit helps ‘to realize in record time rehabilitation goals’ that might take months to realize with conventional therapies, Guadalupe Maldonado, director of Mexico’s Association for Individuals with Cerebral Palsy told AFP.

The suit was create by Elena García Armada who won the 2022 European Inventor Award for the innovation.

David Zabala, 8, was capable of take his first steps due to a recent exoskeleton specifically designed for kids

It features battery-powered mechanical joints that adapt to the wearer's movements

It features battery-powered mechanical joints that adapt to the wearer’s movements

The Atlas 2030 is a pediatric exoskeleton designed specifically for kids ages three through 14.

The mechanical joints wrap across the child’s legs and waist, and are attached to a structure on wheels for added support. 

David’s mother, Guadalupe Cardoso, watched as her son took his first steps within the therapy room.

‘At first it scared him and his hands were very tense,’ she told AFP.

‘I see that it gives his feet more strength and improvement in walking. He’s very all in favour of walking, he’s there taking his first steps. That is a joy for him. He’s very glad’.

While within the robotic suit, David can now do several activities similar to fidgeting with a ball and drawing – things he never thought were possible.

David was able to do several fun activities while in the suit. Here he drawing while standing on his own

David was capable of do several fun activities while within the suit. Here he drawing while standing on his own

He was also able to play ball as his mother held his hand and watching him with joy

He was also capable of play ball as his mother held his hand and watching him with joy

The mechanical joints wrap around the child's legs and waist, and are attached to a structure on wheels for added support

The mechanical joints wrap across the child’s legs and waist, and are attached to a structure on wheels for added support

The therapists are also thrilled concerning the recent technology, as they fitted David with the exoskeleton they knew in any moment he would take his first step. 

‘It makes us very excited to have the exoskeleton and that we are able to even use it now to realize all of this,’ said 28-year-old physical therapist, Arturo Palafox Sanchez.

‘It motivates us as therapists that we’ll have the option to realize many things in the long run’.

Mexico’s Association for Individuals with Cerebral Palsy (APAC) received the device two weeks ago and it goals to assist no less than 200 children with cerebral palsy nationwide.

After Spain and France, Mexico is the third country to supply treatment with the device. 

The therapists are also thrilled about the new technology, as they fitted David with the exoskeleton they knew in any moment he would take his first step

The therapists are also thrilled concerning the recent technology, as they fitted David with the exoskeleton they knew in any moment he would take his first step

Maldonado said in a press release: ‘We’re seeing results with the youngsters, and we would like to proceed working and empowering, in order that more children in town and the country have access to such a rehabilitation, because we’re at all times receiving children who need neurorobotic rehabilitation and that radically changes their lives.

In accordance with Maldonado, the exoskeleton also quickly reach rehabilitation goals  that might typically take months using traditional methods.

This includes strengthening muscle sand improving the kid’s digestive and pulmonary systems.

But the most important improvement seen in a toddler who uses the robotic suit is their morale.

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