In today's world, medical science and technology has developed to a point where more accident victims can live much the way they did prior to suffering a serious debilitating accident.
According to a recent report in The Charlotte Observer, some of this new technology is being developed in North Carolina. Specifically, a new leg-mounted device aimed at helping injury victims is being developed. The new device, which has been described as groundbreaking, is designed to use a carbon-fiber exoskeleton worn on a patient's legs and aids them in moving their legs back and forth during walking. What makes this device so remarkable is that it does not contain any motors with a power source, because designers believed this would make them to heavy to wear all day.
The way they work is a patient attaches the lightweight to device to his or her leg below the knee. There is also a crutch of some sort behind the patient's calf and a spring by the patient's ankle. There is a Kevlar cable that connects these elements, and a support is also placed in a patient's ordinary shoe. When a patient takes a step, the crutch engages the spring by compressing it, and then in uncoils, causing it to help propel the patient's leg forward. The mechanism then resets itself and starts again with each step. Essentially, it takes less physical energy to walk.