A Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton Helping People Walk Again
Grenoble’s Clinatec biomedical research centre has achieved a world-first breakthrough in helping a young tetraplegic man of 28 years to walk again using a mind-controlled exoskeleton.
The prototype consists of an exoskeleton and two small electrodes implanted under the patient’s skull. These electrodes detect the signals sent to the brain and translate them into motor signals, enabling the patient to control the exoskeleton by thought alone.
The young man, who had become tetraplegic following a bad fall, spent two years working with the researchers to be able to walk and move his arms using the exoskeleton. The next step is to try to master gripping objects.
Speaking to the media, he said "it’s a message of hope for those in the same situation as me: there are always possibilities, even if you have a serious disability". Other patients could soon join in the ongoing clinical trial and hopefully experience similar benefits.