In this blog we discuss in general technologies that would aid the elderly, in this case I want to zoom a little closer in on exoskeletons in particulary. While I was browsing the web, I came across a video of already existing exoskeletons which were designed for the us military. The link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIBnJWTrKvI. But as you can hear in the movie, it’s not yet a feasable design for real life applications.
One of the main points of discussion I want to open here is a remark that the test person says. He says at some point:’ If he wants to do something of its own, I can’t do a thing about it.’ This is important to take into account in the discussion whether to implement exoskeletons for mobility in the daily life. How safe are exoskeletons? Because they are around your body (attached to the body), so when they get a will of their own, you (as person in the exoskeleton) can be seriously injured. That is really important to take into account if you are designing them. Can it be designed waterproof, with no bugs nor defects? And if we go wider in our approuch, also other technologies can be very helpful, but will they not hurt the person who uses it? If electric doors fail, then the person can’t exit his house!
In my opinion companies have to be responsible for the injuries or serious inconveniences that, in this case, exoskeletons do to the persons. And if they harm the testperson, they have to pay a great amount of money to that person. Because you have to be sure as a client that the robot will not harm you. The obvious reason of this statement is that the robot (which will cost a great deal of money) will facilitate your life, not ruin it! So every company has to have a design that can guarantee the safety of the person in the exoskeleton and it has to be checked by not only the company but also experts outside the company (of the governement?).
So in general, if you use advanced technologies, companies have to have a fully tested and well designed product. Otherwise it isn’t responsible to bring it on the market. And if they do implement a product on the market, without fully tested it, they have to be fined when it fails.