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可穿戴的电子衣利用脑电波来增强你的肌肉

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2019年10月09日

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The wearable cyborgs that use brain waves to power up your muscles

可穿戴的电子衣利用脑电波来增强你的肌肉

Kristen Sorensen was 55 when she became paralyzed from the neck down last year.

去年,55岁的克里斯汀·索伦森颈部以下瘫痪。

"It came out of nowhere," says Sorensen. "I'd been fine and exercising every day, but it just started with tingling in my fingertips then progressed."

“它不知从何而来,”索伦森说。“我一直都很好,每天都锻炼,但我的指尖开始有刺痛感,然后发展成这样。”

Diagnosed in October 2018 with Guillain Barre syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the body's nervous system, she never expected to walk again.

2018年10月,她被诊断出患有格林巴利综合征,这是一种影响身体神经系统的罕见疾病。她再也无法走路了。

But earlier that year, the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center in Jacksonville, Florida, became the first US center to use a unique rehabilitative technology developed in Japan -- the HybridAssistive Limb (HAL).

但那一年的早些时候,位于佛罗里达州杰克逊维尔的布鲁克斯赛博尼克治疗中心成为美国第一个使用日本开发的独特康复技术——混合辅助肢体(简称HAL)的治疗中心。

HAL -- essentially a wearable cyborg -- helps those with spinal cord injuries and muscular dystrophy regain their movements and strengthen their nerves and muscles. Known as exoskeletons, they're a type of lightweight suit, with joints powered by small electric motors, that serve as mechanical muscle.

HAL——本质上是一个可穿戴的电子衣——帮助那些脊髓损伤和肌肉萎缩症患者恢复运动,加强他们的神经和肌肉。它们被称为外骨骼,是一种轻型的套装,关节由小型电动马达驱动,充当机械肌肉。

可穿戴的电子衣利用脑电波来增强你的肌肉

Here's what's truly mind-blowing: Patients use their brain waves to control them.

真正令人兴奋的是:病人用他们的脑电波来控制他们。

When Sorensen heard about the brain wave-controlled exoskeleton, which was developed by Japanese roboticist Yoshiyuki Sankai, she knew she had to give it a try. She was determined to walk at her daughter's wedding a few months later in December.

当索伦森听说由日本机器人学家三阶善之开发的脑电波控制外骨骼时,她知道自己必须试一试。她决定在几个月后的12月女儿的婚礼上走路。

可穿戴的电子衣利用脑电波来增强你的肌肉

But it's not just those with disabilities or injuries who stand to benefit. By 2050, there will be more than 2 billion people over age 60, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and exoskeletons could offer a solution to the world's aging population.

但受益的不仅仅是那些残疾或受伤的人。根据世界卫生组织(WHO)的数据,到2050年,60岁以上的老年人将超过20亿,外骨骼系统可能会为世界老龄化人口提供一个解决方案。

In the future, as human bodies wear down with age, an exoskeleton -- powered by active minds -- could help people stay on their feet.

在未来,随着年龄的增长,人的身体会逐渐老化,一种由活跃思维驱动的外骨骼可以帮助人们保持站立。

With such huge potential applications available, the global medical exoskeleton market will be worth an estimated $2.8 billion by 2023, according to research company Markets and Markets.

根据研究公司Markets and Markets的数据,随着这些巨大的潜在应用的出现,到2023年,全球医疗外骨骼市场的价值将达到28亿美元。

When Sorensen first tried HAL, she could barely move across flat surfaces.

当索伦森第一次尝试HAL时,她几乎不能在平面上移动。

A trained physiotherapist at the Brooks Center helped her fit HAL over her waist and trousers, connecting her to sensors that help pick up faint bio-electric signals on the surface of the skin, which communicate a patient's intention to move. Once HAL receives these signals, it helps support the person's movements.

布鲁克斯中心的一名训练有素的理疗师帮她把HAL戴在腰和裤子上,并把她与传感器连接起来。传感器可以捕捉到皮肤表面微弱的生物电信号,传达病人的移动意图。一旦HAL接收到这些信号,它就会辅助支持这个人移动。

But you can't just put on HAL and expect to be sprinting in seconds.

但你不能期待一戴上HAL,然后就在几秒钟内就能移动。

Rehabilitation requires time, determination and the help of a physiotherapist and a body weight harness that ensures patients are supported and kept upright while they use HAL .

康复需要时间、决心和物理治疗师的帮助,还需要一个体重控制装置,确保患者在使用HAL时能得到支撑和保持直立。

During that training, physiotherapists keep a log of each patient's motions and the settings used -- from walk to jog mode. They can monitor the user's movements and adjust the settings accordingly, so their movements come more naturally.

在训练期间,物理治疗师会记录下每位患者的运动情况和所用的设置——从走路到慢跑模式。他们可以监控用户的动作,并相应地调整设置,使他们的动作更自然。


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