World’s first robotic legs for paraplegics

London: A New Zealand company has given hope to numerous people who do not have proper mobility by unveiling the world’s first robotic legs for the disabled.

Rex the Robotic Exoskeleton was designed to support and assist people who usually use wheelchairs, enabling them to stand, walk and navigate steps and slopes.

Richard Little and Robert Irving founded Rex Bionics, the company that developed the legs, and they say the firm offers a range of options that are currently not available anywhere else in the world.

“Both of our mothers are in wheelchairs so we are aware of some of the obstacles and access issues faced by many wheelchair users,” the Sun quoted Little as saying.

Medical experts have also hailed the development.

“For many of my patients, Rex represents the first time they’ve been able to stand up and walk for years,” Dr Richard Roxburgh, a neurologist and medical adviser to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Auckland, said.

“There are obvious immediate benefits in terms of mobility, improved social interaction and self-image.

“There are also likely to be major long-term health and quality of life benefits through reducing the complications of being in a wheelchair all the time,” he stated.

Rex is expected to cost 100,000 pounds when it goes on sale worldwide next year, and it will go on sale this year in New Zealand, where it will be available at a lower price.


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