Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 23

TECHNOLOGY LEADERS Electrical Connectors/Wires/Cables
The TWIICE Exoskeleton: Connector Trends
in Medical Device Design
P
araplegia means a drastic change
in the life of the person affected
and their social environment.
From one moment to the next,
you lose a large part of your independence.
Climbing stairs, getting up, getting
from A to B or beloved hobbies: many
things are only possible with the help of
others. The Swiss company TWIICE has
set itself the task of giving sufferers back
a large part of their independence with
the help of a modular exoskeleton - it
makes even ski tours possible. To ensure
that the exoskeleton functions reliably
under all conditions, TWIICE relies on
robust connectors.
The development of a modular
exoskeleton for walking support, originally
intended for children and small
adults, began in February 2015 at the
Laboratoire de Systèmes Robotiques
(LSRO) of the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology Lausanne (EPFL). " It was
important for us to develop a flexible
and lightweight solution that could be
adapted exactly to the user's needs. The
weight of the exoskeleton was also an
important issue for us: since the development
was also aimed at children in
particular, we wanted to make it as light
as possible, " explains Dr. Tristan Vouga,
co-founder and CEO at TWIICE. In the
course of development, the designers
realized that the modular approach had
benefits well beyond the realm of a pediatric
exoskeleton and its advantages
were also relevant for adult patients. At
35 lbs, TWIICE's exoskeleton is one of
the lightest of its kind in the world and
one of the most modular.
Modular System for Maximized
Flexibility
" Loss of independence is one of many
consequences of living with paraplegia.
Other implications include reduction of
social inclusion and of general mental
well-being, but one of the most important
aspects of spinal cord injury is the
number of secondary health issues associated
with it. From the loss of bowel and
Medical Design Briefs, January 2022
Cov
stretched, imitating the movements of
walking. Even more complex movements
such as climbing stairs can be performed.
The batteries located in the
back part of the exoskeleton provide the
necessary energy for up to two hours of
uninterrupted walking movements.
Spare batteries weighing less than one
kilogram per set can be carried in a separate
backpack. A specific electronic system
that controls the exoskeleton's
movements carries out the wearer's
instructions reliably and safely. The
wearer transmits the instructions to the
system via a hand control. Since every
disability is unique, it was important to
the engineers to develop a modular aid
that can be easily customized for different
users depending on their body
shape and type of impairment.
" One advantage of our system is that
we can also respond to the individual
needs of our users thanks to its modular
structure. For example, one patient was
an enthusiastic ski tourer until he
became paralyzed. He very much wanted
to be able to do that again. As a
result, our engineers developed WIITE,a
modification of TWIICE that allows
you to attach ski boots to the skeleton
and go ski touring, " Vouga reports. In
order to be able to adapt the exoskeleton
to other needs and wishes, TWIICE
is working on further innovations.
At 35 lbs, TWIICE's exoskeleton is one of the lightest
of its kind in the world and one of the most modular.
(Credit: TWIICE)
bladder management to neuropathic
pain and drop in bone mineral density,
there are many physiological effects that
can be mitigated by the use of an
exoskeleton regularly, " says Vouga.
TWIICE has motorized joints at hip
level and at the knees. Soft interfaces
support the upper body, thighs, and
legs. By means of electric motors, the
knees and hips
can
be
bent and
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ToC
Reliable Connectivity
To ensure that the joints do what the
wearer tells them to do, reliable transmission
between the controller and the
joint is essential. For this purpose, TWIICE
entered into close cooperation with
the connectivity experts from Fischer
Connectors as early as the development
phase. " It was particularly important to
us that the connectors are not only reliable,
but also robust enough for
all
weather conditions and at the same time
also compact enough that they can be
easily inserted into the exoskeleton without
sticking out. We have worked closely
with Fischer Connectors from the very
23
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Intro
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Sponsor
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1a
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1b
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 4
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 5
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 6
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 7
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 8
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 9
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 10
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 11
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 12
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 13
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 14
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 15
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 16
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 17
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 18
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 19
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 20
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 21
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 23
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 25
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 26
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 27
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 28
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 29
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 30
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 31
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 32
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 33
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 34
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 35
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 36
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 37
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 38
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 39
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 40
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov4
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