Thursday, December 14, 2017
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Exoskeleton Suit for Children in Development

The Esko robotic exoskeleton helps patients who has suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury walk again. Photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics.
The Esko robotic exoskeleton helps those who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury walk again. Photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics.

Robotic exoskeleton company Ekso Bionics is working on a special suit for children. Long known for their robotic suits that allow paralyzed adults to walk, the company is now applying the same technology to help kids.

The pediatric suit is being developed for children with neurological disorders that affect their gait, such as spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and cerebral palsy.

The adult version of the suit is currently available in rehabilitation clinics around the world. The suit is worn over the user’s clothing, and enables the patient to practice upright, weight bearing exercises, functional based rehabilitation, and over ground gait training with the supervision of a physical therapist. The suit has several “walk modes” so that a patient can gradually gain more strength and coordination, and rely less on the suit. A single adult suit can be quickly adjusted to fit a wide range of patients — but could not be adjusted to fit children. The new suit will be specially designed for kids aged five to eight.

“Our department is very excited to be collaborating with Ekso Bionics,” said Dr. Aguilar of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, who is collaborating on the pediatric project. “We believe the new prototype of exoskeleton will give children who have difficulty moving their legs the ability to walk.”

A P20 Exploratory Grant from the National Institutes of Health will help to fund the project. This is the first grant Esko has received from the NIH.


  1. My daughter has Spina Bifida at L3-L4. This would be extremely beneficial to her. We live in the Orlando area. Do you know of a place we could try it out? She just turned 6 and is 42″ tall. Thank you!!!

  2. I would suggest contacting Esko directly with your question. I don’t believe the child suits are ready yet, but they will need some beta pilots at some point!
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