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This amazing robot exoskeleton has helped a paralyzed man walk again

Take that, Tony Stark.

man uses robotic exoskeleton to walk again
Image: University of Grenoble

A quadriplegic man has managed to walk again, thanks to a trailblazing robotic exoskeleton developed at the University of Grenoble in France. The experimental system uses sensors implanted just under the skin of the skull to literally read the patient’s mind to move the robotic limbs.

Let’s just temper the hype a little here, as it took two years of painstaking trial and error to get to this point.

Paralyzed man gains new legs via a robot exoskeleton

This achievement marks an important step towards restoring the mobility lost from physical injuries. This system needs to be tethered to the ceiling – and is very much still experimental – but imagine what could happen in a few year’s time. Paralysis not being permanent, the mobility effects of aging being tempered with robotic help; the number of lives impacted by this tech is huge.

  • Two recording devices were implanted on opposite sides of the head, with 64 electrodes collecting brain signals
  • Those signals were then decoded by a machine learning algorithm and translated into movement
  • It took 24 months of carefully crafted tasks to train the algorithm to increase the range of motions possible

This trial is a proof-of-concept, but it has been proven undeniably. I can’t wait to see where this technology goes in the future.

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