- Exoskeleton rehabilitation is one of the best ways for patients with mobility challenges to relearn walking.
Exoskeletons simulate natural gait during rehabilitation which initiates powerful brain signals that thanks to brain plasticity, can help patients recover their ability to walk. Exoskeletons also simulate natural gait by using drives in the hip and knee joints which move the wearer’s legs. Exoskeletons can be used by the patient independently or with the help of a therapist. They contain a predesigned program that helps therapists control the level of speed and power based on the patient’s needs. Exoskeletons can also be customized to an individual by adjusting the size.
- Training with exoskeletons positively influences a patient’s mental health.
Patients who train with exoskeletons report improved moods, morale, and mental health after just a few sessions. This can come from the ability to have conversations at eye level with other people. Exoskeletons also give hope to patients who were completely immobilized as they are able to walk again during training.
Standing in vertical positions also has benefits like better blood circulation and lung volume, which contribute to better overall health. Exoskeletons make the training more exciting as they are a far more advanced way of rehabilitation and tend to give patients confidence which can reduce depression and other mental health issues.
- Some exoskeleton models can be controlled by the patient’s thoughts.
This is not science fiction, we promise. You see, exoskeletons normally have different types of control systems like buttons, tablets, and smart crutches, which help the patient control the amount of support they receive from the exoskeleton. The most advanced control method in the world today is a brain activity interface that helps the patients actuate the exoskeleton using their thoughts. This allows for improved neural plasticity, which may contribute to the speed of recovery. “Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) works by using small sensors on the skin that detect minor electrical signals in a patient’s body,” explains Brooks Rehabilitation director of clinical technology Robert McIver, “As those signals are detected by the robot, it responds with a movement at the joint. It is the only system that I have come across where the patient’s nervous system acts on an external device.” 
Other exoskeletons like the EksoNR have touchscreen controls that help clinicians set goals and alter assistance levels for patients of all different functional levels. Physical therapists can also easily access the medical device’s database to analyze complex movement patterns and record patient progress.
- Some exoskeletons are made using the same materials as airplanes.
All exoskeletons use different materials in their build. The most common being carbon fiber and metal. Others are made from materials like steel alloys and aluminum which are heavy and rigid. All exoskeleton materials should be strong enough to support patients when in a vertical position.
- Exoskeletons are not exclusively for lower limbs.
Did you know that there are different types of exoskeletons? As highlighted above, exoskeletons are divided into full-body, upper-body, and lower-body exoskeletons. Exoskeletons can also cover a specific body part like the hip, knee, elbow, and even finger. Ekso Bionics is continually iterating exoskeleton designs to create more efficient and effective solutions.
- Exoskeletons are used in the medical, military, construction, and automotive industries.
There are two types of exoskeletons; medical exoskeletons and industrial exoskeletons. Medical exoskeletons are normally used in rehabilitation to help patients regain mobility, while industrial exoskeletons are used to augment human performance. Industrial exoskeletons are meant to make work easier for the wearer. You can read up on the use of exoskeletons in construction here.
Industrial exoskeletons were first developed in the 1900s when they were used in the military. They have since then found applications in construction, automotive, and agriculture. They are very mainstream, so much so they are considered a part of personal protective equipment (PPE) for some automobile companies like Ford.
- Exoskeletons were first featured in pop culture in 1919.
A lot of people tend to think that exoskeletons are a 21st-century idea, but in truth, it was existent even in the 20th century. Exoskeletons were first depicted in The Master Mystery, which is a 1918 American mystery silent film.
- Exoskeletons are used in sports.
Apart from medical and industrial applications, exoskeletons have found a new, fun application in the world of sports. As crazy as that sounds, Jonathan Tippett is pioneering an exoskeleton racing sport where racers control a 14 feet tall prosthesis and compete against other players.  The prosthesis relies on the leg, arm, hand, and feet movements of the user to move. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can run up to 20 mph. This sport is referred to as mechanical racing.
- You can use exoskeletons to be supersized.
Fancy having an exosuit that makes you ten times bigger than you already are? Now you can get one. Skeletonics create 10 feet tall exosuits that can turn you into a giant. Without the use of batteries or motors, all joints and limbs, including fingers, can move with precision mechanically. They utilize kinetic energy instead of electricity to power the exoskeletons.