A Beginners Guide to Types of Exoskeletons

A Beginners Guide to Types of Exoskeletons

Bodily damages are inevitable. Sometimes they are natural, while at other times, they are accidental. In the early days, people with defective or weak body parts lived at the mercy of natural treatments. However, as science progressed robotic powered armors called exoskeletons came into existence.

Exoskeletons are wearable armor-like suits that support various extremities like legs, arms, ankles or hips, etc. People suffering from weakening muscles and back pains also use exoskeletons. These suits vary significantly in their construction. Some are made from elastic parts, while others are made from metal and carbon fibers to provide extra support. Many companies engineer exoskeletons, so it's easy to find high-quality exoskeleton for sale.

Types of Exoskeletons According to Placements

• Full Body Exoskeletons

As the name specifies, full-body exoskeletons cling to your entire body. They are the most robust kinds of exoskeletons and, logically, the most expensive. Full-body exoskeletons are suitable for severely stroke-affected or paralyzed individuals to perform basic muscle movements.

• Lower Body Exoskeletons

These exoskeletons support the lower extremities like hips, legs, and lower torso. Usually, patients with spinal issues use lower body exoskeletons.

• Upper Body Exoskeletons

The upper body exoskeleton suits provide strength and support to the upper body parts, like arms, legs, and torsos. They help users carry loads while maintaining their body stability and preventing strains.

Structural Strength

Exoskeletons differ in their constructions, so it is essential to know about the different kinds.

• Classic Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons that offer maximum power owe a significant portion to their construction matter. Classic or hard exoskeletons use solid materials like metals and carbon fiber to increase strength and support.

• Soft Exoskeletons

As the technology progressed, experts developed a slightly lighter version, the soft exoskeletons. These use soft plastics or elastic materials to support smaller extremities like fingers, forearms, or other such uses. Soft exoskeletons are less rigid than classic ones.

By Operating Mechanism

Exoskeletons are available in a varied price range depending on their actuation mechanism.

• Electric

Electric exoskeletons are the most common type. They use in-built batteries to function and are easily portable.

• Hydraulic

These exoskeletons provide more power than electric ones. But they are heftier and require complex power sources like combustion engines etc.

• Mechanical

Mechanical exoskeletons don't use any power source. They only support the user’s muscle and bone linkages, so no strains exist. Since they help relax muscles, the users can work for longer durations.

The Bottom Line

Muscle and bone weaknesses and pains have many causes. Sometimes the events result in complete or partial paralysis. Exoskeletons are an excellent aid for supporting extremities and improving their performance over time.

Exoskeletons aid anyone suffering from muscle weakness. However, they are primarily for paralyzed people, laborers with muscular defects, military soldiers, etc. These wearable suits fall into different categories. The metallic ones with hydraulics support the entire body and provide the most strength.

Since there are different types of exoskeletons, choosing one that provides the needed support and comfort is essential. Some companies also design custom exoskeletons to offer more targeted support and stability.