A few years ago, we heard that the military was building an exoskeleton suit, weighing roughly 48 lbs, that would help soldiers carry heavy objects for long distances. The mechanical suit is strapped on to the legs and is controlled by the arms. While it looks like the person is walking normally, the suit is actually doing all the work.
Now comes word that the same suit is being used to help patients with spinal cord injuries to walk again. Several patients, including Robert Woo who was paralyzed in 2007 during a crane collapse in Manhattan, has been testing the new suit.
With a bit of assistance, Woo has been successfully walking around. But in addition to getting part of his life back, the suit also helps against blood clots and bone deterioration. As a result, the exoskeleton has been called the Iron Man suit. "'Daddy is Iron Man. Daddy is Iron Man,'" Woo said about the reaction from his kids.
While the suit is being tested in only thirty hospitals around the world, doctors believe that personal Iron Man suits will become available to own as soon as 2014. The goal for the future is to make the device be controlled by thought.
why should paralyzed people get to walk when i don't get to sit in a chair wherever i go, those greedy f*cks
buttabeanwrites: on December 30th, 2012 at 9:47:18 AM
I hate how the main stream news makes such a big deal about these suits. Last year a girl graduated from yale with one of these.
I'm paralyzed and see myself never using one because it's not practical for someone with a high level spinal cord injury. yeah sure someone with a low leveel injury could use it temperarily before their skin breaks down. So yes strange scientist, lets dump money into robotic bandaides instead of curing the problem. *sshole lol
minkowskiwrites: on December 30th, 2012 at 4:59:40 PM
^^I empathize with your paralysis, as that has to be a difficult situation, but...spinal cord injuries are extremely difficult to repair, especially if the column is entirely separated, which is why so much research has gone into developing exoskeleton systems to help people walk again, simply because there isn't, at this time, even a hint as to how to repair a severely damaged spinal column.
I wish you the best of luck.
jdl107writes: on December 31st, 2012 at 6:18:02 PM
"^^You should see this then"
If that was directed at me then I must express my thanks, Mink. That was a wonderful read. Although I had read the Troy Hurtubise story a while back it's always interesting.
I'm sure it's not easy because obviously if it was we'd be there, but I wish the inventors of these non-biotic/biotic suits would focus more on not the bulk aspect, but lean like Troy's design.