It has been shown that physical mobility and cardiovascular exercise directly improves human cognitive abilities, and can reduce biological and cognitive senescence (Ref: Colcombe SJ, Kramer AF, Erickson KL, scalf P, McAuley E, Cohen NJ, Webb A, Jerome GJ, Marquez DX and Elvasky S, Cardiovascular fitness, cortial plasticity and ageing, Vol.101, No9, pp 3316-3321, 2004). In factory settings, exoskeletons empower workers, improve ergonomics and provides safety by increasing automation, thus improving quality, reducing waste and lowering levels of absenteeism due to injuries.
Nonetheless, existing commercial exoskeleton devices tend to be slow and cumbersome, with the degree of usefulness still up for debate. Over the past years, pricing has been the principal hindrance towards its widespread usage; this high cost presents an impeding factor to its wide update, considering that this incurs extra costs in addition to all standard medical expenses such as hospital stay.
The A-PATH project aims to improve the welfare of the Newton partner country’s (India) population by enabling new commercial and competitive solutions addressing the key societal challenge of affordable healthcare technologies (for medical and non-medical applications) in India and the UK, with the ultimate goals of contributing to its economic development and reduce its poverty, thus adhering to the ODA criteria.
The A-PATH consortium will capitalise from the competences and outputs of all project participants to develop affordable commercial wearable robotic solutions fit for the Indian and UK healthcare markets, targeting the ageing population and workers involved in physically demanding tasks. Thus, helping people with motion problems regain control over their limbs, increase their mobility and or augment their capability to walk.
- The chosen technical approach will contribute to the creation of new personal care wearable robot markets.
- The sensing suits are likely to offer business opportunities in their own right as human motion data and mobility statistical trends are essential for many marketing purposes.
- The advantage and added value resulting from the technological cooperation between the participants from India and the UK is first of all increased knowledge base sharing, followed by new commercial leads in India and the UK.
- A-PATH will push boundaries over and beyond current leading-edge world science and technology by developing robots with real-time adaptability to the wearer and flexibility by being able to be enhanced in line with the increasing needs of elderly persons to maintain symbiosis between the robot and the wearer.
A-PATH is a result of a research project co-funded by Innovate UK. Reference no. 103708.