Wearable exoskeleton could help paraplegics walk


Those who have lost the ability to walk, be it by injury or by birth, stand to benefit greatly by the coming onslaught of wearable technology. There are all kinds of wearable, usable inventions being worked on as we speak that seek to make their lives easier. However, they all pale in comparison to this, a fully functional and wearable exoskeleton. If this tech comes to fruition it could be the next best thing to actually and suddenly finding working nerves where there once wasn’t any.

Leave it to Vanderbilt University, who have been tinkering with similar tech for years, to bring this to the table. A team of engineers from the school’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its light weight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence. Pretty cool right? The designers think of it as a “Segway with legs.”

This is just a concept design for now, but the school has signed a contract with Parker Hannifin Corporation to create a commercial version for release sometime in 2014. The price? Probably a lot but hopefully it is something that would be covered by insurance for those who need it. If you just want it to feel more like the Terminator or something, you are on your own price-wise. Check a video of the exoskeleton in action below.