London: An Israeli entrepreneur, who was paralysed in a car crash over 10 years ago, has invented robotic trousers that can help paraplegics walk again.
After the accident in 1997, Amit Goffer immediately set out to invent a device that could replace the wheelchair.
He has invented `ReWalk`, robotic trousers that use sensors and motors to allow paralysed patients to stand, walk and even climb stairs.
The device can help paraplegics to stand and walk - using crutches for stability - when they lean forward and move their upper body in different ways, the Daily Mail reports.
The two stone seven lbs device, worn outside of clothing, consists of leg braces outfitted with motion sensors and motorised joints that respond to subtle changes in upper-body movement and shifts in balance.
Goffer founded a company, Argo Medical Technologies, to commercialise it. After several years of clinical trials in Israel and the US, units will go on sale in January to rehabilitation centres around the world.
A harness around the patient`s waist and shoulders keeps the suit in place, and a backpack holds the computer and rechargeable 3 1/2-hour battery.
When operated, it makes clanging robotic sounds, like the hero of the 1980s cult movie "RoboCop".
"ReWalk is a man-machine device. The machine cannot walk by itself. The user cannot walk by himself. Only when they are together they can walk," Argo`s chief operating officer Oren Tamari said.
First Published: Sunday, December 05, 2010, 17:05