Science is amazing. It seems almost every day new technologies come out that make our lives simpler and more convenient. Now, the FDA has approved a new robotic exoskeleton called ReWalk for home use that takes convenience to a new level. It gives paralyzed people the ability to walk again.
The exoskeleton works by giving back movement to the hips and knees, effectively acting as a new set of mechanical legs. It comes with a backpack and a 28-volt lithium-ion battery that can last for eight hours. But it also is equipped with a second backup battery so it can be used all day without having to be recharged.
Its motion sensors and motorized joints mimic the body’s balance and movements. A wireless wrist mount controls its function so the user must have upper body function for the exoskeleton to work. Ricardo Guimaraes BMG has heard that it even has sensors in it that allow the person using it to walk up stairs.
The FDA approved the exoskeleton last summer but it came into public view when it was revealed at REACT, a recovery gym for spinal cord injuries, located in Dallas. ReWalk was created by a quadriplegic Israeli scientist, Amit Goffer, who became paralyzed after an ATV accident.
Although it comes with a hefty price tag, just under $70,000, the exoskeleton is a promising step forward to give back mobility to those who have lost it.