Rex Robotic Legs Help Paraplegics Walk Again

There have been progress to aid wheelchair-bound people with their daily lives during the past decades, but still not all buildings have ramps, not all elevators can accommodate a wheelchair, they still could not climb stairs, and the sidewalks are still not friendly to people on wheels.

But a pair of robotic legs could just be savior to the paraplegic. A New Zealand-based company has been developing the Rex exoskeleton, which fits into a person’s legs and support his or her full weight, enabling the person to walk again on both legs. The Rex moves with the help of a joystick and control pad. The handicapped can even self-transfer from the wheelchair to the Rex and back, like switching between chairs.

In this video testimony, a first-time Rex user swears by the product. A pair of bionic legs do not just simply help a handicapped walk, but it also help with blood circulation and even in excreting body waste more often (less chances of risking infection in the kidneys and colon). The Rex exoskeleton moves slowly though, but being a first-gen product we expect it to move faster as newer versions come along, if it becomes a success.

The Rex is about to go on sale in New Zealand this year, with an international release expected in 2011. Do not expect it to come cheap though, but for a paraplegic, being able to walk–even with just a pair of robotic legs–is more valuable than its US$150,000 asking price.

Source: NZ Herald, via Engadget

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