Exoskeletons for Paraplegics Near Clinical Trials

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News Posted: Sat, Oct 9 2010 9:10 PM
Exoskeletons definitely have military uses, but what about something for regular folks? You might think none of them would need an exoskeleton, but there's an obvious use case: paraplegics.

On Thursday, Berkeley Bionics, an San Francisco Bay Area company founded in 2005, unveiled what it calls eLEGS. eLEGS stands for Exoskeleton Lower Extremity Gait System. eLEGS is designed to help paraplegics stand up and walk on their own.

Berkeley Bionics has previously developed exoskeletons for military use.

The product consists of a pair of "smart crutches" as well as the exoskeleton, which is made of steel and carbon fiber and weighs 45 pounds. The lithium-ion battery packs give the system enough power for six hours of continuous walking.

Although the system is easy to put on, it does require a decent amount of arm and hand strength. eLEGS can be adjusted to fit most people between 5'2" and 6'4" (weighing 220 pounds or less). A weared can achieve, under "ideal circumstances," speeds of up to 2MPH.

Berkeley Bionics intends to use it first at rehabilitation clinics in the United States, beginning in late summer 2011. It is hoped that eLEGS will be available for personal use by 2013.

Most robotic devices in rehabilitation clinics today cost between $250,000 and $400,000. Berkeley Bionics is shooting for a sub-$100,000 price point for eLEGS, although that is still TBD.

You can watch a video demo below. One of the "models" is Amanda Boxtel, who was paralyzed in a skiing accident 18 years ago. She also demo'ed the eLEGS system on Thursday, live in San Francisco.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Oct 10 2010 10:38 AM

This is an amazing and wonderful use of technology. I hope that they can get this down to a price where everyone who needs it can afford it.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 10 2010 3:18 PM

3vi1:

This is an amazing and wonderful use of technology. I hope that they can get this down to a price where everyone who needs it can afford it.

I agree, this could give a guy some hope of walking again.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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I wonder how it knows when you want to take a step? 

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 10 2010 6:39 PM

Maybe by how far you're leaning forward?

good question,.........

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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3vi1 replied on Sun, Oct 10 2010 7:12 PM

I had the same question, but I eventually decided it doesn't matter: Base on other tech I've seen recently, they'll have this wired to our brain, and it will get the signals there, without the need to anticipate anything.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 10 2010 8:01 PM

It probably has an on-board computer that's running "Microsoft Bob".

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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I wonder if it will be covered under Obamacare?

Or if there will even be future funding for research like this!

I venture to say no! So, like he says ...if you like your wheelchair you can keep it!

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Oct 15 2010 5:33 PM

animatortom:

I wonder if it will be covered under Obamacare?

Or if there will even be future funding for research like this!

I venture to say no! So, like he says ...if you like your wheelchair you can keep it!

I wonder if this will be covered under the Republican plan. I.E. *NOTHING*.

I like you, but if you're going to keep posting on behalf of Fox News, I'm going to keep responding in an MSNBC voice. :)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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You know, you don't HAVE to be a democrat to vote for Prop 19!
 
SO, what you are saying that you are going to keep watching all the other news channels and believe exactly what they tell you? It always amazes me how people follow the Dumbocrats just because they tell everyone how smart they are if they vote for them, yet they rely on those same people to be clueless about what they are actually doing! If Fox news is so wrong and racist, then tell me with all the video and evidence in the lefts own words, where they have been wrong? I only watch them because you get the full story and not worked into a lather over a bunch of lies. Much like that video of the Tea Party's where the guy was carrying a gun, and CNN and MSNBC were making it out to be a white supremacist who was racially charged. Only to pull back the video and find out that it was an African American there as security.
 
Like you I used to watch all the other channels and then figured out their lies and propaganda! That is all that it is, Goebbels like Propaganda hoping that they can scare the people into doing what they are told. Why is it that all the people who were calling Bush Hitler, now that the same tactics are being done by their own side, it is all OK?
 
You should know that old Texas saying "Don't piss on me and tell me its raining, then try to sell me umbrellas"
 
I would have expected this type of rhetoric from the twenty somethings on this site. But as someone who would have known people who were in Vietnam and possibly hear stories from WWII. I thought you would have been more open minded? Remember in Logan's society you and I would have gone through last day ten years ago!
 
All msnbc does is repeat the exact tactics of the radicals in charge. There is no real news there! I spend more time on the History channel and take everything in stride. So I can make an informed decision on what is happening in the world. That's why they say if you don't know history then you are bound to repeat it. If everyone is so intent on repeating the history of Communism, Socialism and other oppressive failed societies. Then why don't they tell everyone and run on that platform! Instead, they use tactics like in South Park, where the Japanese were told that Dolphins and whales are the ones who bombed Nagasaki!
 
I am an American first, And I cant stand either side! If you want to know my views on politics then just watch more South Park. But when I turn on the other news channels and only get a 2sec clip that is made to look bad and racist. Then turn to Fox and get the full fifteen minutes of video. I will lean towards the one who presents the whole case! Politicians rely on Liberal guilt to get away with what ever they want. If they are actually public servants, then they should not be making any money off of it!
 
And yes, the Republicans had many plans. They just didn't put it in a 2000 page bill and tell everyone to pass it and not read it! But I wouldn't have trusted them to do any actual repairs either. But if you only watch the left wing media then you don't get the whole story, you only get what they tell you. So I will keep posting on behalf of America!  As Texans we should know betterConfused
 
Like Neil says, Vote them all out!
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realneil replied on Tue, Oct 19 2010 9:00 PM

animatortom:
Like Neil says, Vote them all out!

Yep,....I do!

We should,........and won't.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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