We’ve got your feel-good Friday story right here.
Dutch motorcyclist Ruben de Sain lost the use of both of this legs in a motorcycle accident over ten years ago. Since that time he’s been using a wheelchair to keep mobile but now, thanks to some pretty incredible robotics, he’s able to stand upright and walk again.
The system of tubes, braces and electronics is worn over regular clothes and sensors react to electrical pulses in the muscles that allow the exoskeleton to be controlled without the use of external input methods; such as keyboards or joysticks.
“I can finally walk from A to B and look people straight in the eye. That’s a pretty emotional thing to do after ten years” – Ruben de Sain
The project – part of a wider test run by the Sint Maatens Clinic in Nijmegen, close to the German border in the Gelderlen province of the Netherlands – is part of a larger study that is examining the use and usability of exoskeletons such as these in a wider context. They are hoping to be able to kit out over a dozen patients with similar mobility issues as Ruben over the next two years.
As for Ruben, he’s hoping to take the suit out and about for a proper, real-world test over the next couple of weeks.
“I see many people with spinal cord injuries just stay inside and that is a sin. You can also go outside with a wheelchair, but with such a suit it can be much better. I would like to inspire people in my situation to make more of their lives. I therefore hope that businesses and insurers invest further in this technology so that everyone can soon make use of an exoskeleton.”