Man left paralysed by fall able to move limbs using mind-controlled exoskeleton suit

Fonds de Dotation Clinatec

A man who had been left paralysed by a fall has been able to move his limbs through the use of a mind-controlled exoskeleton suit, according to French researchers.

This comes following a trial that has been ongoing since 2017 between Clinatec and the University of Grenoble.

At present the suit is only being used in the lab, as the user still needs to be attached to a ceiling harness, and his body movements are not perfect.

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However the researchers have said that the suit has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients in the future.

The suit makes use of implants surgically applied to the surface of the user’s brain, which can read brain activity and beam instructions to a computer situated close by.  

The computer can then read the brainwaves and turn them into instructions, for example if the user thinks “walk” it can instruct his legs to move.

As reported by the BBC, the first user of the suit, Thibault, said: “It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. 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.”

He added: “It was very difficult because it is a combination of multiple muscles and movements.”

Details of the exoskeleton have been published in The Lancet Neurology journal.

Image Credit: Fonds de Dotation Clinatec

Tags : assistive technologyClinatecexoskeletonparalysis
Patrick Cremona

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