Bionic suit lets paralyzed patients walk again

Washington: Patients paralyzed by spinal cord injuries have started to walk again at a Southern California hospital, thanks to a battery-powered bionic suit.

The bionic suit, which was first designed to help soldiers carry heavy loads, is strapped on over a person’s clothes. Foot plate sensors help locate the center of gravity so the person wearing the suit can maintain their balance as they take each step. A computer is worn on the back to help drive the hip and knee motors.

The entire suit weighs 45 pounds, but the load is transferred to the ground so the patient does not bear the weight, according to Ekso Bionics, the company behind the breakthrough technology, ABC News reported.

Aaron Bloom, who was paralyzed two years ago in an accident, feels wonderful to be able to stand and move again.

The 27-year-old was told he would never walk again, but with each step in the Ekso Bionic Suit at Huntington Memorial Hospital, he’s defying the odds.

Now, he says he doesn’t need anybody to hold him. Bloom says he can lift his hands up and feel pretty comfortable using the suit.

The suit costs 150,000 dollars.


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