Clinatec
Exoskeleton Engage

Watch a Paralyzed Man “Walk” Using a Mind-Reading Exoskeleton

byVictor Tangermann
10. 4. 19
Clinatec

"It was like [being the] first man on the Moon."

First Steps

A French man was able to regain control over all four of his paralyzed limbs thanks to a mind-controlled exoskeleton suit, the BBC reports.

A video shows 30-year-old Thibault (last name redacted) wearing the bulky 143-pound exoskeleton, which hangs from a support rail attached to the ceiling. In the clip, he walks across the room and moves both of his arms in all directions.

“It was like [being the] first man on the Moon,” Thibault told the BBC. “I didn’t walk for two years. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room.”

Brain Tech

The suit is the result of a partnership between French biomedical research center Clinatec and the University of Grenoble, France.

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Thibault controls the device using two brain implants that monitor the part of the brain responsible for movement. The implants pick up the brain signals and send instructions to a nearby computer, which then translates the signals into movement. This video from The Lancet shows how it works:

Walking Support

While impressive, the tech still has a long way to go. At this stage, it’s more of a proof-of-concept than a practical solution to paralysis.

The team is hoping to get a more detailed map of the brain implants’ readings and a more powerful computer to improve the responsiveness of the suit — but they’re already encouraged by their results.

“This is in [the] direction of giving better quality of life,” Benabid told the BBC.

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READ MORE: Paralysed man moves in mind-reading exoskeleton [BBC]

More on exoskeletons: The US Military is Buying a Brutal-Looking Powered Exoskeleton


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