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GED104: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY

4Th Quarter SY 2018-2019

Advocacy
The use of Exoskeleton in Patients and Workers

In Partial Fulfilment
Of the Requirements for
Science, Technology & Society

By
Ortega, Mary Alyssa T.

Edward Jay Quinto


Professor

June 29, 2019


GED104: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
4Th Quarter SY 2018-2019

The use of Exoskeleton in Patients and Workers

Part I: History
The development of the first exo-suits started in the late 1960s and found to be constructed
successfully with some minor concerns. As a hydraulically powered machine, it included the
components for amplifying the strength of the arms and legs of the operator. However, he found
out that there were some constraints in the machines and adjustments should be considered in
maintaining the stability of the operator’s body posture. He stressed out that exoskeletons were yet
to meet high efficiency, intelligent power management, lighter weight and improved mechanical
design to be incorporated as clothing for the bodily-impaired people. Also, understanding the
human morphology and neural control was essential for the construction of the machine that would
be possible to cross any kind of terrain without difficulty.
In 2014, Habib published a research paper on the “Bionic Exoskeleton: History,
Development and the Future”. This paper included the history and development of exo-suits, and
how these exo-suits used in various fields. On the other hand, the main focus of the discussion was
about the wearable device on lower extremities and for rehabilitation considering the accidents
ranging from bone fractures to brain and spinal cord injuries. Having spinal cord injury was lethal,
making the person a victim of paraplegia, a condition which leads to an impairment in motor or
sensory function of the lower extremities (considered as a partial paralysis).
In 2017, Steven Ashley stated in a news article entitled “Robotic Exoskeletons Are
Changing Lives in Surprising Ways” that today, powered exoskeleton suits are becoming a reality
which there are hundreds of robotic exoskeletons operating globally. These exoskeletons also
differ from what they are made of and what its use. There are workplace exoskeletons which are
made of a lightweight metal frame that redirects loads to the attachment points on the body,
transferring the strain to the hips and then down to the ground, and there are soft exosuits which
eschew metal framework for flexible tech fabrics that offer added strength and artificial muscles
to people with mobility issues. These will greatly impact the lives of the people from being able
to get around their jobs safely and independently as well as to assist workers in performing
hazardous jobs with fewer injuries.

Part II: Arguments


Exoskeletons are powered armor suits that promote human enhancement. They allow
some people to stand and move about in ways they couldn’t before, and others to regain abilities
they’ve lost. This technology serves as an extension of the human body and is intended to support
people for their movement and reduce physical stress. In most cases, exoskeletons provide hope
to those who have been missing or lost a limb as they have become instruments for their body to
function as a whole again. Emotional stress is an important aspect of our mental health that needs
to give more attention to. Not only the pain that these patients and workers feel whenever they do
something physically, but also the stress that they get if they won’t be able to do their routine.
In our society, people may think they need to reconsider this because this would
overcome their limitations as a human. But that's only for those who can afford these machines:
GED104: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
4Th Quarter SY 2018-2019

with exoskeletons costing as much as a luxury car, there are social justice concerns relating to
access to this cost-prohibitive technology, as well as the eventual dependencies on such an
expensive device. There are no simple solutions for any of these issues, although many solutions
may arise organically; for example, costs and access issues may be lessened as the technology
becomes more widespread and cheaper.
Usage of exoskeleton provides health benefits to the users and is the highly rated reason
why disabled people should take to consider. People agreed for the utilization of this device
because of rehabilitation purposes, social interactions, and daily life tasks. Psychosocial benefits
are one of the reasons stated from the future users. Opportunities for eye-level interaction,
confidence, independence and hope that standing, and walking could bring to the users. Using
exoskeleton technology as a means of contributing to development, or as a method of advocacy
and visibility for individuals with disabilities.

Part III: Conclusion


Exoskeleton or skeletons outside the human body are wearable robotics built and used
with the purpose of amplifying the physical strength and agility of humans. In most cases,
exoskeleton provides hope to those with missing limbs to help them function as a whole again.
Everyone has the right to hope for things they longed to have. These patients and workers deserve
happiness no matter what happens to them, good or bad. This device will help them restore and
improve the power and their abilities. In light of this, I strongly support the use of exoskeleton in
patients and workers as their way to make this technology as the extent of their bodies and to
restore their abilities.
GED104: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
4Th Quarter SY 2018-2019

References

Ashley, S. (2017, February 22). Robotic Exoskeletons Are Changing Lives in Surprising Ways.
Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/innovation/robotic-exoskeletons-are-changing-
livessurprisingwaysn722676?fbclid=IwAR14TA8WdcaN9BW4diBvETN7avrMs2rWPqzV7L_k
jQF1Eh0OK4g-qGF1BFE

Bissolotti, L., Nicoli, F. & Picozzi, M. (2018, February 15). Domestic Use of the Exoskeleton for
Gait Training in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Ethical Dilemmas in Clinical Practice.
Retrieved April 9, 2019, from
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323190737_Domestic_Use_of_the_Exoskeleton_for_G
ait_Training_in_Patients_with_Spinal_Cord_Injuries_Ethical_Dilemmas_in_Clinical_Practice

CBS News. (2014). First patient takes ReWalk robotic exoskeleton home. Retrieved April 09,
2019, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/first-patient-takes-rewalk-robotic-exoskeleton-home/

First patient takes ReWalk robotic exoskeleton home. (2015, June 03). Retrieved April 09, 2019,
from https://rewalk.com/first-patient-takes-rewalk-robotic-exoskeleton-home/

Geoff Manaugh. (2019). Exoskeletons are the new weapons of choice for ambitious criminals.
Retrieved from https://www.wired.co.uk/article/exoskeletons-crime-industry

Linner et. al. (2018, March 9). Identification of Usage Scenarios for Robotic Exoskeletons in the
Context of the Hong Kong Construction Industry. Retrieved April 8, 2019, from
http://www.iaarc.org/publications/fulltext/ISARC2018-Paper013.pdf

Pauline Maurice, Ludivine Allienne, Adrien Malaisé, & Serena Ivaldi. (2018). Ethical and Social
Considerations for the Introduction of Human-Centered Technologies at Work. IEEE Workshop
on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO), 2018, Genova, Italy. 2018.