Hayden Allen Walks Again, Robotic Legs.

Rex robotic legs for paraplegics
The product is called Rex, an abbreviation for robotic exoskeleton, and was designed by two New Zealand inventors who claim these are the world’s first robotic legs allowing paraplegics to walk again. The battery-powered device weighs 84 pounds and is joystick operated. It enables its user to climb up and down stairs or slopes, sit, stand, and step forwards, backwards and sideways. Users simply transfer from their wheelchair into Rex, strap themselves in and start walking by controlling their movements with a joystick and a control pad.

Rex robotic legs joystick and control pad
Rex offers a lot of benefits in terms of mobility, improved social interaction and self-image. I have experienced that myself as a C5/C6 quadriplegic who uses a standing wheelchair. Just to be able to talk to people at eye level again is a major boost to your self-esteem. And it’s very likely that there are also long-term health and quality-of-life benefits through reducing the complications of being in a wheelchair all the time.
It is expected that the product will go on sale by the end of 2010, but only in New Zealand at first. The rest of the world will have to wait till the middle of 2011. Unfortunately the initial estimated $150,000 price tag will be prohibitive for a lot of prospects suffering from paralysis, but it is expected to go down when the product becomes available in larger quantities. At least it is nice to know that another technological advancement has been made towards improving the lives of people who are paralyzed.
It seems as if Rex is a realistic standing and walking alternative to wheelchairs, at least for some paraplegics. You can find out more information about these bionic legs at Rex Bionics.
You can also watch a demonstration of Rex by 23-year-old Hayden Allen, the first paraplegic to benefit from this amazing product, by watching the following video.

Advertisements

Posted on December 20, 2011, in Disability Related Links and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: