A new exoskeleton could provide spinal injury victims with a chance to have a greater freedom of movement after successful trials in Switzerland.

Mechanical engineers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a prototype exoskeleton called the ‘VariLeg’, which is worn outside of the body and mimics the natural behaviour of knee movement.

The newly developed exoskeleton will provide more natural movement on uneven surfaces, mirroring the natural joint movements in people’s legs, which according to the team of engineers is unique to the ‘VariLeg’.

The exoskeleton suit will be electronically connected to crutches, where the users can control their direction, as well as different modes of travel including normal walking, travelling on stairs and sitting down.

Henrietta Phillips, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ London office, said: “This prototype is a new development in the ever evolving field of exoskeleton technology, which could potentially offer patients advanced mobility in the future.

“While it is exciting to learn of developing technology that could one day enhance the lives of serious injury survivors, many of these assistive devices are in the very early stages of development and may not be available for many years to come.

“We continue to monitor technology that may one day improve the independence of our clients, however our focus remains on ensuring we support our clients throughout their rehabilitation and in the long-term by putting them in touch with the most appropriate experts, and ensuring they are able to make much needed adaptations to their home that will enhance their independence.”