"Soft Robot" will help the leader to stand up and walk

According to the Guardian, the Conor Walsh laboratory at Harvard University is not a common research center. There are no benchtop centrifuges, ventilated kitchens that can remove toxic gases, beakers or pots, and test tube racks. There are only a few laptops and a wide variety of clothes. On the lab side, there are many models wearing T-shirts and black running pants, and behind them are jerseys and running shoes. On another shelf, the carefully folded shorts and leggings are marked with different numbers. When I visited here recently, a student was patching the trousers.

If you are walking down the street, you might think you are in a high-end sports shop. But this is not a Nike university, but a biodesign laboratory at Harvard University. There are many eye-catching research projects, and their goal is to revolutionize the science of "soft robots ." In the process, the fate of stroke patients can also be changed to help them walk again. The head of the laboratory, Walsh, said: "In essence, we are studying clothes that can provide strength to people suffering from mobility disorders and help them recover their mobility."

Not long ago, at the ceremony in Los Angeles, the 35-year-old Walsh won the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. He plans to expand the "soft robot" study with a bonus of 100,000 Swiss francs and make it into a suit to enhance the load-bearing capacity of workers and soldiers. At the same time, these robot kits can also be used in the medical field, including helping to care for patients with Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy and other diseases that affect mobility.

Walsh graduated with a degree in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. As early as the student days, he had read reports that the United States is developing exoskeletons to help enhance human capacity, and is obsessed with robots. In fact, the exoskeleton is a hard shell similar to a robot that wraps the user and enhances mobility, such as the Iron Suit worn by Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man or Sigourney in Aliens. The dynamic bones used by Sigourney Weaver.

Walsh said: "I think they look very cool!" To this end, Walsh applied to enter MIT for further study, along with biomechanics expert Hugh Herr. But when Walsh began to contact the stiff exoskeleton, he found it very unsatisfactory. He said: "It's like armor becoming a robot suit, but it's also hard, heavy, uncomfortable, and not always moving with humans."

To this end, when Walsh came to Harvard University, he set up a biodesign laboratory and decided to solve the problem in different ways. He said: "I immediately found out that if you use a softer suit, you can support you to take the right action. In addition, it is more comfortable to wear and will not bother you. It has great biomedical application value. I began to imagine : Can we make a wearable soft robot?"

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