A robotic neck brace able to safely improve the range of motion of the head could drastically improve the quality of life for people living with ALS.
Patients with ALS, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, are often left without the ability to control their neck muscles—preventing them from even raising their head. The robotic neck brace, from the team at Columbia University, was designed to help overcome this symptom.
The brace is equipped with an array of sensors able to detect the signals sent from the brain to the neck muscles, controlling the actuators that then mimic the support of the neck muscles. The device is comfortable to wear, and the team claims it can restore about 70 percent of natural range of motion in the head.