• The new devices, described Wednesday in Nature, are still just in the prototype phase. But the researchers who created the inexpensive, easy-to-wear exoskeletons believe they could be ubiquitous in another decade.
  • These little braces don't require any outside power, and they make walking 7 percent more efficient with nothing but a well-placed spring system. They can't support someone who can't stand on her own like a bulkier, motor-aided suit might. But for people who can walk but have difficulty doing so, the boot-like new apparatus could help create a more balanced, comfortable gait.
  • The creators think the most immediate application for their design will be to help people with partial paralysis -- stroke victims in particular -- who can walk, but struggle to do so.

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