For paralyzed people not being able to move around on their own is a difficult fact of life. But now one Israeli scientist is helping to change that with a new and exciting piece of robotic technology. Here’s a closer look.
Paralyzed for the past twenty years ex-paratrooper Radi Kaiof enjoys a new sensation – walking.
[Radi Kaiof, Former Paratrooper]:
“For me standing up and walking – I never even dreamt about it. I’ve been wounded for 20 years and I never dreamed I’d be able to walk.”
Radi’s dream has become a reality thanks to ReWalk, a remote-controlled suit developed by Argo Medical Technologies. Working somewhat like the exoskeleton of a crustacean, the system consists
of motorized leg supports and body sensors. A computerized control box is carried in a backpack while crutches help with balance.
But for Dr. Amit Goffer who invented the device, the greatest benefit to the user is the psychological impact.
[Dr. Amit Goffer, ‘ReWalk’ Inventor]:
“We shift the person, the moment the person is being shifted from a wheel chair user status to crutch user status it’s.. it’s a whole world, it’s a real revolution actually.”
But joining the revolution isn’t cheap. It’s estimated the product will sell for around 20,000 U.S. dollars.
While expensive, it’s a life-changing aid, allowing those who would otherwise be confined to wheelchairs a freedom to movement similar to able bodied people.
ReWalk is now in clinical trials and slated for commercial release in 2010.
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