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Exoskeleton Helps the Paralysed Walk Answered

Exoskeletons frequently hit the news as projects to make super-soldiers, but a new, more slimline version has bee built by Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies. Inspired by the paralysis of one of their own engineers, ReWalk allows wearers to walk, use stairs, stand and sit.

The wearer switches between "modes" with a tap on a wrist-pad, then controls the actual motion by shifting their upper body-weight. For instance, they would hit "stand", then lean forward to make the ReWalk straighten its exo-legs.



The device is much more streamlined than some other systems, run from a very flat pack-pack, and can be worn all day, but is only suitable for paralysis victims who still have good control of their arms and shoulders.

ReWalk seems much simpler and lighter than other exoskeletons, but that seems to be because the designers have not tried to replace the entire walking function - balance is still down to the wearer, using crutches, but I imagine practice could reduce that to sticks, or even a single stick.

Weight and fitness seem to be factors as well - the man in the video is was an Israeli paratrooper, injured on duty, and there are no shots of the rather portly wheel-chair-bound inventor wearing the ReWalk, but I think you'll agree it would still be a major benefit to an awful lot of people.

This video is in German, but shows more shots of the exoskeleton, and has clips of the designer discussing his project.


42 Replies

user
Lithium Rain (author)2008-08-31

*screams*

IT'S Z, NOT S!!!!

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user
Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-01

It's only a Z until you learn to spell properly, dear.

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user
Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2008-09-01

*sighs* I love the British. But their spelling...ugh...

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user
Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-01

Check the time-line - who borrowed and bastardised the language from whom?

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user
Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2008-09-01

:) Aw, I know we changed the spellings. Just poking a bit of fun...

But that dosen't make it RIGHT. :D

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Sunny124613 (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-02

I am going to google

when in doubt,always check with Google!!

ok ok it is spelled with an "Z" not a "S"
but I bet that the British do spell it like that...
hmmm..

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user
Lithium Rain (author)Sunny1246132008-09-02

That's the joke. :)

The British commonly replace perfectly good S's with Z's. They are also very wasteful of U's, using them all over the place where they're not needed. They also have the deplorable habit of replacing A's with E's, as in gray, which they spell "grey", They also misspell fairy, which I believe they spell "fairie".

Poor, poor, Englishmen....

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user
Unit042 (author)Lithium Rain2009-02-20

And what about switching "r" and "e"? Example: Center/Centre

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Unit042 (author)Lithium Rain2009-02-22

Anyway, the title has "paralysed". It's supposed to be "paralized". Must have confused it with "paralysis". No British issues here, just a plain misspelling methinks.

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user

Wait a second...I live in the states and I spell fairie and grey this way! ...sorry for interuppting a conversation from last year...

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user
Sunny124613 (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-02

oh yah,I have seen many of their foul words(no offense Englishmen) but I hav to admit,you are right.They do you too many grammar rules and switch them around!

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Lithium Rain (author)Sunny1246132008-09-02

Yeah. I mean, if they want to talk funny, that's their prerogative, but it doesn't mean we have to spell all funky.

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user
Sunny124613 (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-02

yah,there should be a filter that only shows the american letters instead of some of the british letters..

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user
Lithium Rain (author)Sunny1246132008-09-02

HAHAHA! What an awesome idea. Why not ask zachninme?

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user
Sunny124613 (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-02

um IDK I dont know if he would even bother with a young one like me:(

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Lithium Rain (author)Sunny1246132008-09-02

Zachninme is nice. He'd at least reply.

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user
Lithium Rain (author)zachninme2008-09-02

*takes back the part about Zachninme being nice*

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Sunny124613 (author)Lithium Rain2008-09-02

hm,ok I guess I will just copy and paste my previous comment and I will ask him to reply

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cd41 (author)2009-01-03

Nest 2 steps they need to take, running and balance in the system and maybe easier to switch but that is amazing its just a few motors and sticks when you think about it

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M.Hunter (author)2008-08-30

The company Cyberdyne has been working on an exoskeleton like this. Its much nicer tho, and quicker to respond.

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Kiteman (author)M.Hunter2008-08-30

Hmmm...

The last thing of theirs I saw, it was an endoskeleton they were working on...

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user
M.Hunter (author)Kiteman2008-08-31

No its a robotic exoskeleton. Endoskeleton is the internal skeleton of an animal and judging by the pictures I'm pretty sure the HAL is external. =D

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Kiteman (author)M.Hunter2008-08-31

That was a joke - the Cyberdyne project is an endoskeleton, being that it goes inside the artificially-grown flesh.

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M.Hunter (author)Kiteman2008-08-31

Oh lol I didn't catch on. Heh I was referring to an actual company. My bad.

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Kiteman (author)M.Hunter2008-09-01

There's a real Cyberdyne?!?

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M.Hunter (author)Kiteman2008-09-01

Yes I've been referring to a real company. The makers of HAL: Hybrid Assistive Limb. Japanese based company researching robotic exoskeletons for humans. You've been referring to terminator movies this whole time lol.

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M.Hunter (author)Kiteman2008-09-02

well haven't actually seen them, so your lucky I eventually caught on =p.

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jaem (author)2008-08-28

That video is quite awesome, although it reminds me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wrong_Trousers - has anyone else seen that? :P

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Plasmana (author)2008-08-30

Wow! That is really cool! (And a very good thing for paralysis victims too!)

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jessyratfink (author)2008-08-27

This is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I really hope this is made available to the general public in a few years. I'm especially excited to see this given to younger children. Can you imagine? There's a possibility they'd never end up bound to a wheelchair!

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Kiteman (author)jessyratfink2008-08-28

They'd have to add an extra speed for kids, though - run.

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jessyratfink (author)Kiteman2008-08-28

Very true. But I'm sure with a smaller frame and a bit more power they'd be fine. :D

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Kiteman (author)jessyratfink2008-08-28

Actually, if my kids had one, I'd have the urge to bolt on rollerskates...

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jessyratfink (author)Kiteman2008-08-28

Oooh, that could be fun too. The only problem with rollerskates is that if something goes wrong, there's no bailing. You go down with the ship!

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Kiteman (author)jessyratfink2008-08-28

Oh... Maybe brakes would be in order, then.

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Ferrite (author)2008-08-27

That is awesome! I really like the idea of exoskeletons.

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