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…
Berkeley Bionics introduces eLEGS exoskeleton [Make Magazine]