Tech company ReWalk Robotics has unveiled a new prosthesis to restore the ability to walk to those who have lost it.
Dubbed an “exoskeleton,” that is, a skeleton on the outside of the body, somewhat akin to an insect shell, the device fits around the lower body. Battery powered motors operate tiny servos to control leg movement, and sensors in a backpack adjust for speed. The device also has a standing mode, which allows users to stand erect in a still position.
According to ReWalk, the suit offers additional benefits:
that standing and ambling in the exoskeleton could improve bladder and bowel function, decrease pain and body fat and reduce fatigue. Studies have also demonstrated that users can move around at speeds of up to 0.71 meters per second; that’s probably about half the speed of your average person, which is pretty impressive.
Priced at about $77,000, the suit isn’t cheap, but long-time wheelchair bound patients might find that price tag insignificant compared to the benefits it offers.
Check out this video of the suit in action: