The World’s First Child Exoskeleton Opens in Spain Impelreport
ATLAS 2020 will allow children between 4 and 8 years of age with spinal muscular atrophy who have never stood up to walk.
The San Joan de Dèu University Children’s Hospital in Barcelona will be the first in the world to use this system, which has been developed with the help of the CSIC, to help the 1,500 families affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the second most common neuromuscular disease. in childhood and at the moment without a cure. They will have this exoskeleton in their facilities for a year for therapeutic purposes for sessions of one hour three times a week.
What is this exoskeleton for?
With its 14 kilos of weight and its ten motors, this robot – the ATLAS 2020 – adapts perfectly to the legs and trunk of children who were diagnosed as babies who could never walk. The neurodegenerative disease they suffer causes them to suffer a progressive deterioration of their muscular strength to the point that it is impossible for them to crawl or comb their hair.
The mission of this technology “is not to rehabilitate, but to delay the degeneration that entails this type of neuromuscular affections”, explained Elena García, creator of this engineering development and researchers of the Superior Council of Scientific Research.
This made in Spain pediatric exoskeleton is unique in the world because it supplements the functions of each muscle, recreates even the tendons and “is an unprecedented psychological therapy.” It also adapts to the child’s growth for what it is worth to any child as the years go by.
When will it go on the market?
At least until next year, this technology will not be commercialized, because it has not yet achieved European certificates for its use. Its implementation will be in phases: first in hospitals and then to individuals because many have already been interested in this robot. According to Elena García, “their rent could be around 2,800 euros” and the goal is to expand first in Europe, although they have already received requests from Mexico, Ireland, Colombia and France.
Jens, an example at 5 years
This Wednesday we saw Jens walking, a child who with only one year was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy of type II on III, that is, not the most serious, but one that makes him never be able to walk on his own. “When we started the sessions with the exoskeleton, the sky opened up to us and to him,” says Angel, Jens’s father, ” now he never wants to let him use it.” Playing, as usual for a child of Jens’s age, is much easier today and in his letter to the Magi he has already written “to be able to walk”