Artificial intelligence and electrical stimulation to help people with reduced mobility

Artificial intelligence and electrical stimulation to help people with reduced mobility
Photo : Fuseproject

Advanced age and diseases affecting leg coordination, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and neurological damage, can lead to reduced mobility. Start-up CIONIC has partnered with LISiN and industrial design company Fuseproject to develop Neural Sleeve, a wearable leg sleeve to enable people with walking difficulties to move more freely using artificial intelligence and electrical stimulation.

Enabling people with limited mobility to move safely is essential. The difficulty of moving around, the pain, the fear of falling, can lead them to remain confined to their homes, to perform fewer and fewer daily tasks and to rapidly lose their autonomy. The lack of social relationships and physical activity can impact their mental health as much as their physical health.

To help these people get around, there are solutions such as walkers, wheelchairs or electric scooters. Cionic has designed Neural Sleeve to treat the underlying neuromuscular system in order to re-train and strengthen the body over time.

Jeremiah Robison, CEO and founder of CIONIC, states:

“We set out to create a product that combines the diagnostic power of a multi-million dollar walking lab with the therapeutic power of functional electrical stimulation to address the growing challenge of limited mobility. It is expected that more than 20% of the world’s population will be mobility impaired by 2050.”

To develop the Cionic Neural Sleeve’s proprietary sensor network, Cionic collaborated with neuromodulation experts at the Laboratory of Neuromuscular System Engineering (LISiN) at the Polytechnic University of Turin.


LISiN is dedicated to the non-invasive study of control mechanisms, performance changes and muscle fatigue through the analysis of force, movement and electromyographic (EMG) signals. Since 2015, he has designed, developed and supported CE/FDA certification of six electromedical systems. As a result, he has the technological expertise to bring innovative technologies to market that are effective and safe. In collaboration with LISiN scientists, Cionic has successfully combined electromyography (EMG) and functional electrical stimulation (FES) into a single electrode array, a technical feat according to Cionic, which states on its website:

“At the heart of CIONIC’s DNA is an obsession with scientific rigor and data validation, which means we will always go the extra mile to find the best possible partners when developing our products. Solving mobility problems is a global challenge, which means we will continue to partner with the world leaders and thinkers driving R&D for disciplines relevant to our users and our platform to create the most comprehensive platform for human augmentation.”

The Neural Sleeve is a flexible, lightweight sleeve that wraps around the upper and lower leg. Inside its breathable fabric is a system of sensors and electrodes that communicate with an AI-powered app.

The model has been pre-trained on muscle movement data, including examples of ideal and impaired walking, it is refined on muscle data obtained from the specific patient who will wear it.

Sensors monitor the position of the leg and the electrical impulses of the muscles. The app analyzes this data to predict a person’s intention to take a step 1/10 of a second before their foot leaves the ground, the electrodes then stimulate the muscles in order to correct the wearer’s gait. Cionic partnered with design studio Fuseproject to enhance the system’s appeal to users.

Translated from Intelligence artificielle et stimulation électrique pour venir en aide aux personnes à mobilité réduite

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