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2nd Stand-Alone Power Assist Suit aids in patient lifting

Darren Murph

While we could've devised a slightly more compressed moniker, the 2nd Stand-Alone Power Assist Suit is shaping up to help nursing personnel take a load off their backs while helping patients get around (and work on their biceps) a lot easier. Stronger and more compact than its predecessor, the 66-pound full body contraption is designed to help nurses and home caretakers with lifting their patients who cannot provide any substantial muscular assistance. While it currently only handles patients up to 180 pounds, it cuts the amount of force necessary to get them up and about by 50 percent, and integrated "micro air pumps" aid the patient in busting a move (or just getting to the lavatory) once they're strapped in. Powered by portable batteries, built-in sensors determine which movements are being made, and the pumps are then inflated and deflated in patterns desgined to assist the typical walking, lifting, and moving motions. Although it can only muster about half an hour of assistance, creators are determined to improve on the current model in order to help rehabilitating individuals regain the strength required to move sans machinery -- much like Activelink's motorized jacket. While the team couldn't pinpoint a completion date, we can envision these popping up in quite a few wards not already stocked with superhuman robotic assistants handling the hoisting.

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