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Exoskeleton - computerized body brace - allows Berkeley student to walk across graduation stage!

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posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:56 PM
Twenty-two year old Austin Whitney stepped across the Berkeley commencement stage even though he is wheelchair-bound.

when the paralyzed 22-year-old rose from his wheelchair and stepped across the UC Berkeley commencement stage to shake Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's hand, the crowd of 15,000 at Edwards Stadium went wild with cheers, as if witnessing a miracle.

A team of UC Berkeley mechanical engineers - four doctoral students led by Professor Homayoon Kazerooni - have been developing a computerized body brace called an exoskeleton they believe will be good enough to transform thousands of wheelchair users into walking people in a couple of years, and for an affordable price.

SOURCE: SFGate Exoskeleton

UC Berkeley engineers had been at work. By the time Whitney arrived on campus in 2008, Kazerooni and his team had been developing robotic exoskeletons for nearly a decade. Their research into smart body frames began as a Defense Department project to find a better way for soldiers to haul heavy loads over long distances, then blossomed into Berkeley Bionics, a company Kazerooni co-founded in 2005.

The exoskeletons are expected to sell for $90,000, but as low as $15,000 for a basic no-frills model.

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:04 PM
Very Cool, these are sort of feel good stories that make realise why im still here and didnt check out early..

Makes you realize all those fake certificate threads arnt as important as helping someone out.

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:14 PM
As a person living with MS this is an exciting breakthrough that may one day, benefit me. Star and Flag

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:49 PM
reply to post by xynephadyn

It's going to be good.

Exoskeleton technology might be covered by insurance one day.

Just think of all those old and sick people running around with robots on their back. It will change everything. Grandparents will be faster and stronger than their grand-children because we can afford the high premiums required to have a robo-suit.

posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:58 PM
Amazing story! From being wheelchair bound to being able to walk across the graduation stages
is truly inspiring. I'm sure the student felt great that he could go ahead, and make that walk.

Well done sir!

The Exoskeleton will be a great technological advancement. As my mother lives with MS and
she struggles and it is truly saddening. So to see that one day this device could help her and
many others struggling with paralyzing diseases is wonderful.
edit on 5/15/2011 by UnholyBones because: typo

posted on May, 15 2011 @ 12:09 AM
Magnificent! These are the types of breakthroughs we can benefit from. S&F for touching my inner being...Feel good stories are the best!

posted on May, 15 2011 @ 12:33 AM
This could very well be the most uplifting thread ever penned on ATS. I know a couple kids from my high school days that ended up in wheelchairs because of accidents, and it is great to know that people like them will be able to get a second chance. Fantastic to hear that an idea with so much potential has progressed so far.

posted on May, 15 2011 @ 01:18 AM
reply to post by Thermo Klein

Wow that's pretty cool.
Who would've thought?

posted on May, 15 2011 @ 09:39 AM
reply to post by Thermo Klein
Any vids or pixs

posted on May, 15 2011 @ 02:37 PM
Here are a few pics from the article/link:
Exoskeleton technology - 18 pics

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