Paralyzed Man Uses Wearable Robot to Walk

Michael Gore Walks

Michael Gore Walks

As Michael Gore leans forward, the robotic legs strapped to his body begin to move. He tilts left then right and with the aid of the “wearable robot”, he begins to walk. For a man paralyzed 11 years ago in a workplace accident, this isn’t just an amazing technological advance; it’s more like a miracle.

The “wearable robot” is still a year away from market and not yet approved by U.S. regulators. This version called Indego is being used and tested in U.S. rehab hospitals. The technology is complicated but the goal is simple. Make a device light enough and compact enough to fit in a backpack. The patient could carry it on their wheelchair, strap it on and go for a walk.

Paul Tobin, the president of United Spinal, a nonprofit advocacy group notes that although these robotic devices can be quite effective patients still need to be realistic. “It’s going to be critical that people have a thorough medical evaluation before trying something like this, especially if they’ve been injured for some time,”

For Michael Gore, it’s been a godsend. “Being able to walk up to you and say hello is not a big thing until you cannot do it.”

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