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eLegs Exoskeleton: Another Bit of Science Fiction Becomes Reality

Bobby Travis

Bobby Travis

This is a post by Bobby Travis, who wrote with me at 40Tech from 2009 through 2012. Bobby has since moved on to bigger and better things, but I've left all of his great contributions up on the site. - Evan
Bobby Travis

eLegs Bionic ExoSkeleton

I like it when science fiction tech waltzes its way into the “really real” — and that’s what eLegs is doing. Well, it may not be waltzing just yet, but it’s certainly going a long way to helping paraplegics start walking!

eLegs is based on the HULC exoskeleton built for the military by Berkeley Bionics and is heading into medical trials. At the moment, it is not complete upright mobile freedom, but it is a huge step forward and actually does help paraplegics to get out of their chairs and walk. The creators say that they are already working on a “home” version that will allow users to walk unassisted (outside of the robotic exoskeleton, of course).

This is a fantastic step forward for rehabilitation efforts and generally helping people — and while the irony of eLegs developing from a military contract doesn’t escape me, it is equally fantastic that something so positive came from the technology. The grin on the woman in the video below says more than enough to me…

Check out Make Magazine’s blog for more stories like this, and the one I posted on Wednesday. It’s worth your time.

Berkeley Bionics introduces eLEGS exoskeleton [Make Magazine]