Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Moments of Innovation

Bionic suit puts paraplegics back on their feet

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 - 02:26

Mar. 12 - A powered exoskeletal suit is giving paraplegics a new lease on life, allowing them to walk on their own - even up stairs. The ReWalk is the latest example of a developing technology that might one day make wheelchairs a thing of the past for spinal cord injury patients. Ben Gruber reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Errol Samuels is walking for the first time in two years. He's a paraplegic, the victim of a roof collapse which left him with severe, irreversible spinal damage. He thought he would never walk again, but now with the help of a state-of-the-art robotic exoskeleton....he's doing just that. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ERROL SAMUELS, PARALYSIS PATIENT SAYING: "I feel like Robo cop a little bit. So, it's always good to get up and to get around." The exoskeleton is called a ReWalk and it has been customised to fit Errol's body. He can control its movements with a device attached to his wrist... which feeds commands to a computer he wears on his back. Dr. Allan Kozlowski, a rehabilitation specialist at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, says devices like these will soon offer victims of paralysis new hope for a dramatically improved quality of life. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ALLAN KOZLOWSKI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE AT ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI, SAYING: "As the technology evolves, I can see these things becoming a replacement for wheelchairs or that they might be integrated as a combination device, where the exoskeleton is part of a wheelchair but when you want to get up and walk you leave the wheels behind and away you go." But Errol Samuels says learning to walk again has taken determination and practice. He has used the ReWalk twelve times and each time he says it gets a bit easier, helping him reach his goal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ERROL SAMUELS, PARALYSIS PATIENT SAYING: "It gives you more independence. You don't have to look for help going up a step. Once you get that trigger down pat and [you'll be] reaching for things that are way out of reach when you're sitting." (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ALLAN KOZLOWSKI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE AT ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI, SAYING: "It's learning to walk again. And so initially we'll help them a lot. We'll physically move them into that position so that they can get a sense of how to move with that device. As we start to get a sense of that we'll decrease how much assistance we give. We'll go from giving a lot of assistance to maybe just a little bit to help them reach that balance point." And Errol Samuels says he's making progress. His doctors expect that the ReWalk suit will soon be approved for home use in the US, to help those who can't walk get back on their feet.

Bionic suit puts paraplegics back on their feet

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 - 02:26

Money »

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

Dow back to positive territory for year Dow back to positive territory for year

Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - (2:18)

Markets cheer Russia's Ukraine exit Markets cheer Russia's Ukraine exit

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (1:50)

Russia, Iraq push Dow to three-month low Russia, Iraq push Dow to three-month low

Thu, Aug 07, 2014 - (2:27)

Wall Street gains but telecom disconnected Wall Street gains but telecom disconnected

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 - (2:28)

Stocks zapped by energy weakness Stocks zapped by energy weakness

Tue, Aug 05, 2014 - (2:46)

Stocks recover with refocus on earnings Stocks recover with refocus on earnings

Mon, Aug 04, 2014 - (2:19)

The S&P 500 suffers worst week in 2 years The S&P 500 suffers worst week in 2 years

Fri, Aug 01, 2014 - (2:41)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)

The week that changed Boston The week that changed Boston

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - (3:28)