Robotic exoskeletons for those unable to walk are not new. In fact, it is somewhat puzzling why they are not more prevalent with a better regulatory climate than the US. Cost may be a factor, but one would still expect to see such devices in use in a wealthy society such as Japan.
The most interesting aspect of “ReWalk robotic exoskeleton looks like science-fiction, but helps paraplegics walk again” is the video showing a man using the device and his heartfelt expression of joy in regaining mobility.
‘Plenty of companies at CES claim to offer life-changing technology. ReWalk Robotics actually does. The ReWalk Personal System is the world’s first FDA-approved robotic exoskeleton, and it has the potential to change millions of people’s lives by allowing them to walk completely on their own, even if they’re paralyzed from the waist down.
We were privileged to watch a ReWalk demonstration from Gene Laureano, an army vet who suffered a post-service spinal injury in 2001. Laureano is paralyzed from the navel down, yet he was able to walk on his own, relatively easily around the show floor. Laureano is one of 120 current ReWalkers and has been using ReWalk robotic legs since 2013.
The ReWalk Personal System consists of three main parts: The exoskeleton itself, which is a motorized support system that attaches to the user’s legs; the communicator watch, which lets the user control the exoskeleton’s different modes; and the battery pack, which is worn as a backpack. The exoskeleton’s four movement modes—sitting, standing, walking, and climbing stairs—are controlled by the communicator watch.‘