It’s not science fiction and it’s not quite a miracle, but it’ll probably blow your mind. Scientists at Cyclone Technologies have invented the ReWalk—a mobility aid that allows those paralyzed from the waist down to walk again. It could revolutionize the future for wheelchair users. It already has for some.
Take for example Jane Sowerby. Nine years ago, Jane fell 13 feet down a stairwell and onto concrete. She was paralyzed from the waist down. But Jane didn’t let this hold her back. In 2005 she tried out skiing for the disabled and by 2010 she was a Paralympic ski racer in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
And now in 2012, Jane has started walking with the help of ReWalk. It took her four days to learn the system, but Jane can now stand, walk indoors and outdoors, and go up and down stairs.
The Rewalk consists of a light wearable brace, computer based control system and motion sensors. When the user shifts his or her balance, the sensors recognize the change and trigger the desired response, such as a step forward.
Dave Hawkins, director of Cyclone Technologies and a wheelchair user himself, says “As any wheelchair user knows… keeping fit is paramount to maintaining and controlling a good level of independence. By keeping users upright on a daily basis, and exercising even paralyzed limbs, the ReWalk enables users to do exactly that.”
The ReWalk is available to the public, but currently costs over $70,000.