The Promise of Exoskeletons

Posted in Automation by Qmed Staff on October 31, 2016

ReWalk’s robotic exoskeleton transformed the life of architect Robert Woo, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a construction accident.

Qmed Staff

How much could robotic exoskeletons better the lives of people with paralyzed legs? There's a great example to be had in one of the latest episodes of Freethink Media's Superhuman series. (Check out other episodes here.

Finding out about ReWalk's robotic exoskeleton was a "glimmer of hope" for Robert Woo, an architect in Toronto and New York who was paralyzed from the chest down.

"Seeing the videos actually happening and seeing someone who is paralyzed actually walking now ... not science fiction ... that excited me. That gave me a sense of purpose in life," Woo said. 

Depression turned to excitement as he liberated himself from his wheelchair, a device that has been around for centuries. "I'm very fortunate to have been one of the early people to try it," Woo says. 

Woo has even made design suggestions on how to improve ReWalk. "Like any new technology, when it first comes out the price is quite high. The more people purchase it, the demand will start growing and then the price will go down," Woo says. 

He dreams of the day when the paralyzed will be able to wear exoskeletons under their clothes and walk like anyone else. 

Discover more about connected medical device innovation at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 7–8, 2016.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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