Paraplegics and the elderly often face problems with their joints and muscle movements. When stuck to bed owing to their illness, patients tend to develop contraction of muscles that could be irreversible, and regular range of motion exercises through physiotherapy is the only alternative left. There are a few muscle and joint extractors available to assist, but Tail-wrist-II seems to be a novel makeover in the category. Developed by Hideyuki Tsukakoshi, assistant professor of Mechanical Control Systems at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Tail-wrist-II is designed to prevent contraction of muscles and joints.
The wearable robotic arm has four actuators located in the forearm area, which are controlled with a joystick used by the unaffected hand. With the joystick air pressure is created inside an attached flat helical tube to induce movement of joints via the actuator, the movement created in the affected area is flexible and does not place undue stress on the wrist.
The helical and flat wearable actuator uses resin tubes, making the device lighter than the other existing ones on the market. The attached Fit-band, made of flat tubes changes from band to cylinder when the pressure in the arm is increased, and thereby the device fixes perfectly onto the patient’s body all in a push of a button.