British scientists are developing a pair of trousers with “inflatable muscles” that can keep elderly people mobile and less reliant on wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
‘The Right Trousers’, named after Wallace and Gromit’s famous ‘Wrong Trousers’, have been designed as part of a £2m publicly funded project to make a product that can help elderly people stay on their feet and complete tasks more easily.
The trousers allow elderly people to go to the toilet more easily thanks to a button that automatically undoes.
Professor Jonathan Rossiter from the University of Bristol told an audience at the British Science Festival this week that he envisaged the clothes being cheap and available within 10 years.
He said the developers’ “dream” is to make the trousers ubiquitous so that people can purchase them easily from shops like Boots.
Each “inflatable muscle” in the trousers can lift up to 6kg and feature a stiffening device to hold knees securely when people want to stand.
The trousers are not designed to take over from legs but to augment them and researchers hope to incorporate additional features such that electrical muscle stimulation.
Developers are currently looking to work with a leading prosthetics company.
Image credit: National Trust /Getty Images