Those who are forced to use a wheelchair to move around know perfectly how life can be complicated, not only in the difficulty they have to face when negotiating the smallest obstacle such as, for example, a sidewalk, but most of all in the feeling of having to depend on others at all times and in all occasions even for their basic needs.
Finally now, after seven years of studies and fine tuning, the New Zealand based Rex Bionics has launched its exoskeleton, which aims at making life a lot easier for paraplegic patients, and to allow them to leave the wheelchair and start moving not on wheels while sitting, but on two legs, albeit robotic, while standing.
The Rex exoskeleton is capable of standing a person’s weight, and is controlled thanks to a joystick, allowing its user to carry out tasks apparently as easy as 1-2-3, but impossible for those who can’t use their legs; in fact, thanks to it, it will be possible not only to stand up and walk, but also to go up and down a flight of stairs or an upward or downward slope.
Apart from immediate benefits from a physical point of view, and concerning movement and self-sufficiency, thanks to Rex patients will not only improve their morale and live their condition in a better way, but will also be able to improve their physical conditions in the long term.
For example, the risk of muscular atrophy and decubitus ulcers will be minimized, keeping the patient in a better shape which will help them, if awaiting a therapy or a surgery, not only to face it but also to better go through the post-surgery process.
The only problem is the 150000 dollar price tag, but the possibility to walk and lead an almost normal life is priceless!