• A 39-year-old man who had been completely paralyzed for four years was able to voluntarily control his leg muscles and take thousands of steps in a “robotic exoskeleton” device during five days of training — and for two weeks afterward — a team of UCLA scientists reports this week.
  • The procedure used a robotic device manufactured by Richmond, California-based Ekso Bionics which captures data that enables the research team to determine how much the subject is moving his own limbs, as opposed to being aided by the device. The data showed that Pollock was actively flexing his left knee and raising his left leg and that during and after the electrical stimulation, he was able to voluntarily assist the robot during stepping; it wasn’t just the robotic device doing the work.
  • This is the first time that a person with chronic, complete paralysis has regained enough voluntary control to actively work with a robotic device designed to enhance mobility. Almost 6 million Americans live with paralysis, including nearly 1.3 million with spinal cord injuries.

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