Wearable Bionic Exosuits Are the Next Step in Wearable Technologies

Wearable Bionic Exosuits Are the Next Step in Wearable Technologies

Do you remember the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, when the first kick was delivered by a man in an elaborate exoskeleton suit? This man was Juliano Pinto – a fully paralyzed person. Remarkably, but that exoskeleton suit enabled him to kick a soccer ball with his foot using – only his thoughts!

The progress hasn’t been frozen since the World Cup. Many companies have actively started developing these technologies and today we can see the first results of their hard work.

Wearable robotics are a logical extension of the modern wearable technologies, namely smartwatches, smart clothing, and many others. Noteworthy, the popularization of many wearable devices made it possible to reduce size of the computers, so that people could comfortably wear them on their bodies.

Dmitry Grishin, an entrepreneur and investor who serves as chief executive of Mail.ru Group and founder of Grishin Robotics, says that the revolution in technology and smartphones made many components – cameras, sensors, batteries, processors and others – incredible cheap. This factor boosted development of the modern exoskeletons.

According to recent market research by WinterGreen Research, the market for rehabilitation robots, active prostheses and exoskeletons is already worth $43 million with projected reach of $1.8 billion by 2020.

However, most people think of exosuits as standalone military machines that give superhuman abilities to anyone who wear it. For instance, Iron Man is the most obvious example of a person wearing exosuit.

However, coming back to reality, the United States Department of Defense works on the innovative project Tactical Light Operator Suit (TALOS) that aims to develop a soft, low-powered exosuit that will augment the physical capabilities of soldiers. This suit will allow the soldiers carry 100-plus pounds of equipment or 17 times more weight than a regular soldier without risking the joint and back injuries. These technologies will exceed the physical abilities of all troops.

TALOS project is a collaborative work involving 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories. Below you can watch a video describing TALOS project.

Albeit, this statement (exosuits are the standalone military machines) is a half-truth, application of this technology is not limited to the only military.

Many companies like Panasonic, Kene Wearable Bionics or Cyberdyne strive to develop wearable robotic suits that will help people move again, or reduce strain on workers who are involved in physical labour for prolonged hours.

For instance, Cyberdyne created the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) – the world’s first cyborg-type robot that enables person move again or reduce common strain on joints and back.

When a person wants to move a leg or an arm, then the brain sends signals through the spinal cord and the nerves that surround it. So, when the person is paralyzed, these spinal nerve structures are damaged, and the signals are too weak to reach the leg or the arm.

HAL functions by picking up these weakened brain signals through sensors that are attached to a person’s skin.

HAL could be applied to many fields such as welfare, medical, industrial or disaster sites. You can watch a video below describing HAL at work.

Another applicability of wearable robotic suits could be in the industrial sector. Panasonic is one of the companies that aim to integrate exosuits into every aspect of our lives.

In their video, they highlighted two exosuits – the Assist Suit and the Power Loader—that according to their vision would improve productivity and change the entire industry. You can watch their video below and share if you’d like to.

Apparently, such technology encounters lots of challenges. For instance, the first generation of the HAL suit weighed around 30 kilograms and required two persons to set up the suit while the last generation weighs only 10 kilos.

You may have guessed that weight and mobility of the exosuits are the crucial factors to consider because they’re supposed to give you wings to ease your strain on joints.

However, in order to make the exosuits lighter, the engineers should first reduce a size of the suit’s parts.

The biggest challenge in reducing size and weight of the parts is the battery life. Analogically to all modern devices, the battery is the biggest headache for all engineers because it can only last for a couple of hours.

Therefore, the engineers should find a way to invent a limitless power source, or, at least, a miniature battery that will last for a prolonged time.

Even though we’re far away from seeing the Iron Man suits on the streets – we should consider this fact that wearable robotics are the fast growing industry that’s already finding its use in medicine, manufacturing and the military.

Japanese Scientists Invented Artificial Tongue to Enable Speech for Oral Cancer Victims

Dentistry researchers led by professor Shogo Minagi from Okayama University in Japan, have invented the world’s first artificial tongue prosthesis.

Professor Minagi and his team have developed a prosthesis that’s made of resin and connected to a person’s back teeth by a wire. The research team has used materials that are already widely used so that any dental technician can make this type of prosthesis without any difficulties.

Minagi claims that patients can control the artificial tongue by pushing it with the remaining base of their tongue, thus, allowing patients move the tongue up and down to touch the palate (part of the oral cavity required to speak).

This breakthrough is crucial for people whose tongues have partially been removed due to oral cancer or car accidents and other injuries that affected their ability to speak.

Minagi’s work was inspired by Kenichi Kozaki, a dentistry professor and an expert on dental pharmacology at the Okayama University after he’s being diagnosed with tongue cancer. As a result of this cancer, most of his tongue, jaw bones and pharynx were removed, and he lost the ability to speak.

“We could create a really good prosthesis quickly thanks to Kozaki, who is a dentist himself. He tried many different versions of the prosthesis and offered us detailed feedback,” said Minagi, who also hopes that this invention will be widely used in oral cancer treatment.

In September, Okayama University established an outpatient clinic called Yume no Kaiwa Purojekuto Gairai (Outpatient Clinic to Achieve the Dream of Speaking Project).

According to Minagi, at least, four people are currently having artificial tongues made through the clinic.

Oral cancer is a cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat. There are several types of oral cancers, but around 90 per cent are the squamous cell carcinomas, which are found in mouth, tongue and lips.

It’s only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, in most cases the lymph nodes of the neck. This cancer is particularly dangerous because it may not be noticed by the patient in its early stages, as it can progress without producing any symptoms or pain.

Approximately more than 54,000 people have been diagnosed with the oral cancer in 2015, and it causes 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Herewith, the worldwide cases of oral cancers are much greater, with over 450,000 new cases recorded each year. Yet the statistics are not accurate due to the poor healthcare system in the least developed countries.

Roughly $3.2 billion is spent in the U.S. each year on the treatment of head and neck cancers.

Scientists Claim: Constantly Checking Your Phone Is Ruining Your Cervical Spine.

Scientists Claim: Constantly Checking Your Phone Is Ruining Your Cervical Spine.

What a tedious process of constantly reaching for the cell phone to check notifications, write the notes or send a message to a friend. You walk on the street, you pull out of your pocket a cell phone and – hunching over it to check something that you’ve thought would be relevant.

It turns out that the cell phones have a negative impact on our cervical spine. Are you wondering why they’re affecting cervical spine rather than our eyes?

According to the new research study conducted by Kenneth Hansraj, a chief spinal and orthopaedic surgeon at the New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine in the US, constantly bending head down to check the mobile device significantly harming the cervical spine.

Hansraj calculated how varying degrees of curvature adversely affected a person’s spine.

For instance, at zero degrees of tilt, the resting pressure is equal to the weight of the person’s head – five kg, or 10 pounds. However, for each 15 degrees of tilt, the pressure and the weight increase. You can see these changes on the image below. So at the maximum tilt, which is 60 degrees, a person feels around 27 kg or 60 pounds of force on the cervical spine.

This research is essential because people spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over interacting with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Cumulatively this is 700 to 1400 hours a year of excess stress to the cervical spine.

These numbers can even be higher for the modern teens as they spend an extra 5,000 hours in poor posture.

This research shows that people should start spending less time hunching over their devices for tasks that could be done in different ways.

However, how can we stay as productive as we are now?

MYLE is an assistive technology that does your routine job for you. Whether you’re writing a message, a note, making a calendar meeting, or filling fitness or working logs.

This miniature device has a sleek design and powered with the latest breakthroughs in the speech recognition technologies. It lets you control your apps via only voice keeping your posture at zero degrees of tilt.

For instance, you can tap and say, “Email to Edward – ‘thank you for your respond, let’s meet afternoon tomorrow at the local coffee shop, – Jess.'”

Your message will be automatically converted to text and instantly sent to Edward letting him know that you received his message, and you’re going to wait for him at your local cozy coffee shop.

Thus, MYLE aims to do what Hansraj explains in his research,

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.”

5 Innovations That Will Dominate Tech Industry In 2016

5 Innovations That Will Dominate Tech Industry In 2016

We’ve seen many innovations in 2015, but wait for 2016 as it’s going to bring us more superior technologies.

MYLE did some research and prepared a list of five technologies that would dominate tech industry in 2016.

1, Smart Clothing.

The hottest trend will be smart clothing, a technology that’s being under development for nearly a decade, but not hyped as VR headsets or fitness trackers.

However, namely this tech will catch the most eyes in 2016.

Imagine a t-shirt that functions as your personal body computer. It collects accurate information as you walk, sleep, work or train. Smart clothing may even see your body position and which muscles you currently use during that specific physical activity.

The smart clothing is developed of intelligent textile technology, which is made of flexible sensors. So those sensors are conductive materials made of carbon. These materials use elastic deformation to generate an electrical signal. In turn, the special computing and analytical software will calculate, predict, analyze and even find a way to stabilize person’s health issues if there are any.  

Whom to follow: Sensoria Socks, Cityzen Sciences, OMsignal.

2. Wearable Devices in the Office.

In 2015, companies began implementing wearable devices into the workplace to increase productivity. Wearable technologies are designed to ease the work by making it more efficient and productive.

For instance, DHL was one of the first companies in 2015, that’s tried to implement wearable tech in their U.S. warehouses. DHL aimed to help their workers determine the fastest route to finding products by replacing handheld scanners and paper job orders using Google Glass; thus, they reduced the time needed to pick out an item and pack it for shipping by 25 per cent.

However, it seems that majority of companies will continue implementing such technologies for workers who are usually on-the-go.

MYLE, which release is scheduled for 2016, will be one of those tech devices that are designed to increase overall work productivity, save time, make working more efficient by saving company’s labour recourses required to perform certain tasks.

Whom to follow in 2016: MYLE, Office Apps for SmartWatches, Wearable Smart Glasses.

3. Virtual Reality (VR)

VR has been in development for such a long period and finally it’s going to arrive on the shelves in 2016. Undoubtedly, 2016 will be the big year for VR.

According to recent research, the sales of VR headsets will reach 14 million units in 2016 with most used for gaming.

The reason people will mostly use them for gaming is the relatively lower cost to create the games when the movies require more resources to film in VR.

Noteworthy that this market is crucial for Facebook-owned Oculus, HTC in cooperation with another gaming giant Valve and Sony as they will be the main competitors.

Certainly VR is going to change the way we look at the entertainment industry as it offers the unique experience of being part of your favourite game or movie.

Who to follow: Samsung, Oculus, HTC, Sony.

 4. Healthcare wearables

In 2016, we’re going to see the new healthcare devices with startup companies , as well as a few big acquisitions.

Healthcare wearables will be equipped with better hardware parts to speed up computing and analytics, enhanced body sensors for data collection, as well as simplification of the communication between a doctor and a patient.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent research on consumer behaviour to health tech, revealed 24% of consumers currently use mobile apps to track their health, when 16% use wearable sensors and 29% use electronic personal health records.

Approximately 47 per cent of consumers consider using wearables in near future.

Whom to follow: sleep apps and wearables, pain relief technologies, Google.

5. Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are designed not exactly for health monitoring purposes but more for counting your daily activities.

According to recent research, fitness trackers will be the hottest trend in 2016, but MYLE does not agree with that statement.

However, the new generation of fitness trackers will be much smarter, personalized and include more features and apps than the old generation.

Whom to follow: FitBit, Jawbone, Garmin, Moov, Microsoft Band.

Watch the bonus video about tech predictions for 2016 from Bloomberg.

Top 10 Tech Innovations of 2015. Pt.1

Top 10 Tech Innovations of 2015. Pt.1

Every year in December, we see dozens of ratings on the most memorable technological innovations of the past year. This year we’ve become witnesses of the massive amount of technologies that we became in love with or began to dislike, or simply missed because of their valueless.

Team MYLE wasn’t an exception and made ten categories of the best technological innovations of 2015. We’ll write about the first five in this part and cover the rest of them in tomorrow’s post.

Smart Watch – Pebble

Smartwatches became one of the top trends in 2015 with 24 million sold units worldwide. Perhaps, you’re going to say that Apple Watch is currently the best product on the market because two of every three smart wearables were – Apple Watches.

However, the sales could be high due to brand name, and no matter what you sell under Apple’s brand it will be popular and accepted by everyone. However, we’re rating useful smartwatches that you can use every day with any software and be sure that it will last at least five days.

Pebble is the best in 2015 because it has remarkable 7-day battery life, affordable price, compatibility with both iPhone and Android and thousands of apps due to an open platform for the third party developers. Pebble has everything you need to be called – the best smartwatch of 2015.

Best Wearable Healthtech – Quell 

Quell, according to developers – 100% drug-free solution – for people who experience pain. Their OptiTherapyTM technology automatically adjusts stimulation intensity to ensure a user receives optimal pain relief.

Quell sends small electrical impulses to your lower brain by stimulating your nerves and blocking pain signals to your brain. It works up to seven days on a single charge.

Best Video Flying Drone – DJI Phantom 3

Phantom is the most popular and selling video flying drone. This video flying drone is the best in 2015 because it has the in-built camera that films a video in 4K and takes photos with 12 megapixels camera.

It also features powerful mobile app and gives you around 20 minutes of flying, whilst most of the current drones can fly no more than 15 minutes and cost more than DJI Phantom 3.

Best Cloud Service – Google Drive

It was easy to find a winner in this category. Google Drive was the best cloud service last year, is the best this year and perhaps will be the best next year too.

Many of you will not agree on this decision by saying, for instance, “DropBox is much better because it’s simple to use and offering better syncing and sharing solutions than Google Drive.”

However, Google Drive is offering a better solution for collaborative office suites. You can access your files in the offline mode; attractive design and easy navigation plus 15GB of free storage make this platform the greatest in its class.

Isn’t it great? If you’d like to get additional storage space, you only pay $1.99 for 100GB and $9.99 for 1TB. That’s why Google Drive is the best cloud service you could access in 2015.

Best Smartphone – iPhone 6S

You may say the iPhone wasn’t the best choice for those who wanted to update their smartphones, but the truth that it was. Unlike Apple Watch, the developers did much better job.

iPhone combines a sleek design, where every detail is perfect, the excellent high-resolution camera that can take superb images and film in 4K, 3D touch pressure sensitivity technology, life image feature, as well as the most powerful hardware among all current superphones. iOS haters may not agree with this result, but who knows, perhaps Nexus or Samsung will get the first place next year. Unless Apple is not going to revolutionize its iPhone again.

What are your thoughts about this list? Which technologies would you replace? 

Sleeplessness and new technologies

Have you ever experienced insomnia? Did you think of how to defeat it? There’s a wearable to help you.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you go to bed late at night and cannot fall asleep. You spin in the bed, try to count sheep or meditate, or take a magic pill, when everything else fails. In the morning you wake up with a heavy head and leaden body, exhausted before you even get out of bed, completely incapable of focusing on anything. Your thoughts are like glass beads that scatter out of a can, and come the next night, the cycle repeats.

More than 50 million people in the US only battle some sort of sleep dysfunction, and one of the biggest causes is information overload. For the past decade, the data we must process in our heads has expanded ten-fold, and the amount of information going through our minds grows every day.

This information overload causes a vicious cycle of stress: stress that is driven by a failure to start and complete a myriad of tasks of varying importance, stress caused by inability to relax, stress caused by lack of time. This cycle builds and pushes us towards a sort of psychological abyss, getting out of which gets harder with every day.

The solution seems obvious: stop the race. Relax. Capture and sort all those niggling thoughts. Pick the important ones and get them done. All to-dos would be attended to, no pesky thoughts would rush through your brain, stress would be gone and your sleep be back.

But it’s not so simple. Sorting and acting on all this incoming information is incredibly challenging, and you will be running out of post-it notes before you are even half-way through your list.

This is where we call on a tech for assistance. In particular, a miniature wearable devices that help us remember everything and even look after many routine tasks for us, like MYLE.

Miniature and elegant, MYLE is worn on your lapel or shirt collar. It’s ready to instantly capture and save any thought or command that you say, with a simple finger tap. You don’t need to take out your phone, or even have it nearby.

Just imagine – one finger tap and you never forget anything again. Also, a good portion of this data is analyzed and executed automatically, without any effort on your part.

To envision the value of a device like MYLE, take note of the stream of routine thoughts that pass through your mind: call John tomorrow at 2 pm; don’t forget to buy milk; add search system to the project; I ate an apple; my daughter spoke her first word; I had a coffee, spent $2.35 – on and on it goes…

Here’s the catch: only 10-20% of our conscious thoughts are actually urgent and important. But, the other 80% are things that must nevertheless be acted on, or remembered. What happens is that important items get pushed aside, and you are back to the familiar cycle of stress, spinning in bed and waking beaten down and red-eyed.

Now imagine that, with a swing of some magic wand, a note to call John appeared in the calendar. Milk showed up in your shopping list (with a pick-up date and specific store name). The idea for a new search system landed in Evernote or your Slack work group. Calories from that apple calculated automatically. The cost of your coffee was accounted for in your expenses file. And, your family album received an entry under your daughter’s photo, with those memorable first words… Things simply get done – automatically.

This is the main attraction of MYLE – its simplicity and smartness. You just need to tap the device and speak… that’s it! MYLE captures your thought, analyzes and executes it in some form.

When you use MYLE, you’ll start noticing that you’ve suddenly gained an hour or more of free time, every day – and yet your ‘to dos’ are done, your stress level not as bad, your mind is fresh, and your sleep is coming back.

So, you can be a part of that 50-million army of insomniacs, or you can try MYLE. To pre-order it, visit www.getmyle.com

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