Man Paralyzed For 4 Years Walks Again Using A Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton

Technology continues to impress everyone. When we learn about things like this it makes you have hope for humanity. A man named Thibault suffered from a fall four years earlier, injuring his spine.

He fell nearly 50 feet and it changed his life in a bad way. Now, he has been given a chance to change things to some degree thanks to scientists and their latest technology.

Thibault exoskeleton
Image: thelancet

Thibault was only able to move his left arm using a wheelchair ever so slightly. His devastating injury left him unable to walk. Nearly his entire body was paralyzed from his shoulders down. After therapy and determination, he did manage to gain a little bit of movement in both his biceps and left wrist.

Thibault formerly worked as an optician. He ended up staying inside a hospital for several years from his injury. He later enrolled into a program trial with the Clinatec company and the University of Grenoble in 2017. Thibault then began to use implants to control his movements much like a virtual type character inside a computer video game. 

Image: thelancet

Eventually, he then graduated to walking around with the exoskeleton suit giving him the opportunity to walk again. Imagine the feelings he had, it must have been overwhelming for him. Photos were taken showing him using the suit and he appears to be quite happy.

When asked about using the exoskeleton suit, he said, “It was like [being the] first man on the Moon. I forgot what it is to stand, I forgot I was taller than a lot of people in the room.” The suit felt otherworldly to him it seems.

The sensors used, record the brain activity inside the brain that is responsible for movement and sensation. An algorithm then interprets the signals and transforms them into movements. It really is incredible technology. One can imagine one day when technology like this shrinks down and becomes more readily available. 

While the exoskeleton suit can only be used inside the laboratory for now, further research is being compiled to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from movement-related disabilities.

The suit is still simplistic but enough for someone to control. Thibault merely has to think to “walk” around in the room. Now, he can once again move around in a three-dimensional space again.

(Source: Bored Panda)

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