Neural Sleeve is an AI-based leg sleeve that helps correct muscle movement in people with limited mobility.
California-based Cionic and Yves Behár’s Fuseproject studios collaborated to create this unusual wearable device using a technology called functional electrical stimulation (FES). The project’s goal is to make FES scalable and more accessible through clever design and innovative technical solutions. The sleeve’s goal is to help people with disabilities due to multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke or spinal cord injury. “Think of it as a way to remotely control your own legs,” commented Behár. “The role of the algorithm and the role of the electrodes is to provide the correct sequence. When the brain relearns and regains the knowledge of how to fire these muscles, there is no need for a sleeve.”
The Neural Sleeve contains a fabric component that users can quickly wrap around their legs to properly position the electrodes over the leg muscles. A central processing unit placed in the thigh pocket details the user’s gait information and triggers electrodes to correct and stimulate appropriate muscle activation patterns. Users can partially control the process through a smartphone app that pairs directly with the sleeve’s computer via Bluetooth.
According to Cionic, the technique has shown promising results and can be applied to other muscle chains in the body. “With more than 35 million Americans living with mobility impairments, the need for customizable full-spectrum solutions is growing — especially as the population ages,” the company said.