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Circuit Breaker

Scientists created an exoskeleton to help kids with spinal muscular atrophy

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Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council have created an exoskeleton that kids with spinal muscular atrophy can wear to help them walk. The rare disease, which affects one in 10,000 Spanish children, often makes it hard for sufferers to walk as their muscles deteriorate. And while it's difficult or impossible to do so without the exoskeleton, walking could help kids with the disease live a longer and healthier life. The aluminum and titanium exoskeleton weighs 26 pounds and attaches to a wearer's legs and torso; it helps them walk by mimicking normal muscle function. With its assistance, wearers can support their body weight. It requires a battery that lasts up to five hours.