The DCU Exoskeleton Programme stands out as a pioneering initiative, offering access to the most advanced robotic walking technology to those facing paralysis. However, it’s important to note that the routine utilisation of robotic walking in healthcare systems for paralysis management and rehabilitation is not yet widespread in Ireland.
What makes this initiative unique is its combination of extensive clinical experience within the programme team and the cutting-edge research expertise at DCU and Insight. This synergy aims to maximise the benefits derived from this groundbreaking technology, ensuring that individuals with paralysis experience enhanced mobility and independence.
The programme conducts its research in collaboration with the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, at Dublin City University. This partnership ensures that research findings have a high-impact output, providing significant benefits not only to the users but also to society as a whole. The research outcomes are designed to be directly applicable to compel changes in best practices for paralysis management on a national scale.
In a world-first initiative, the programme is committed to establishing a paediatric program that will make this groundbreaking technology available to people facing paralysis throughout their lifetimes. This ensures that children and individuals will have access to the benefits of the exoskeleton, empowering them to walk, explore, and embrace life’s adventures.
Ronan Langan project lead says “Children with paralysis that walk in a robotic exoskeleton will be doing something extraordinary. They will be the pioneers of robotic walking, helping us to grow our knowledge to optimise the use of this assistive technology to enhance their quality of life. By the time they are adults, wearable robots will be commonplace and this programme ensures they will be able to exploit the coming advances as they grow with their paralysis.”
The DCU Exoskeleton Programme embodies the spirit of World Children’s Day by offering children with reduced mobility the chance to realise their full potential. It illustrates the power of technology, expertise, and research in reshaping the lives of our youngest generation.
The Programme is paving the way for children and individuals to take their first steps toward a brighter, more independent future, and we applaud this commitment to change and innovation.