Exoskeleton technology is a promising one for paralyzed people to get up on their feet and start walking. Though they may look like autonomous robotic devices, the exoskeletons are controlled by the user and still require balance skills to not fall over. This is difficult for patients that have no sensations in legs and feet as they don’t have the feedback that tells them if they are spreading their weight evenly.
Now researchers at the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Florida are using a Nintendo Wii Balance Board to help exoskeleton users to practice their balancing skills. It looks like the researchers are using existing Wii Fit Plus games that focus on balance, which means if the technique works it can be easily used by any rehab center relying on exoskeletons.
Here’s video of Mark, a complete spinal cord injury patient, practicing on the Wii Balance Board:
(hat tip: Popular Science)