This isn't really automation related, but it was a very cool press release and I am marveling how life imitates fiction. From the flip phone (Star Trek Communicator) to the TriCorder (iPhone, iPad) to the exoskeleton of Iron Man, scientists and engineers are bringing their favorite science fiction devices to life.
Here's the exoskeleton.
Today during his trip to Israel, President Obama viewed a demonstration of ARGO Medical Technologies' ReWalk exoskeleton (invented in Israel) by paralyzed US Army Veteran Theresa Hannigan and Israeli Veteran Radi Kaiuf who can stand and walk independently with this device.
Sgt. Hannigan is a Vietnam-era Veteran who was left paralyzed two years ago as a result of a progressive autoimmune disease that she contracted while in the Army. She now uses the ReWalk to stand and walk during her training at the Spinal Cord Damage Research Center at the Bronx VA. This past fall she used the device to walk a 1 mile road race to raise money for service men and women.
I have attached the press release below. Please let me know if you would be interested in an interview or if you need any additional information.
President Obama Views Demonstration of ReWalk Exoskeleton Technology During Visit to Israel
Meets paralyzed US and Israeli Veterans who use the ReWalk to stand and walk
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right in background, talk with Sgt. Theresa Hannigan, left, from Long Island, New York and Radi Kaiuf, center, during their tour of the Technology Expo in Jerusalem, Israel, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Hannigan and Kaiuf where demonstrating technology that assist paraplegics to walk again. Photo: AP
Jerusalem, Israel - March 21, 2013 - ARGO Medical Technologies' ReWalk exoskeleton was one of the cutting-edge Israeli inventions demonstrated to President Barack Obama in Israel during his visit to a session hosted by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. ReWalk inventor Dr. Amit Goffer, an alumni of the Technion, is a quadriplegic who was inspired to invent the exoskeleton device because of his own personal story and experience.
"It is an honor to have been chosen among many Israeli innovators to present the ReWalk technology to President Obama," said Dr. Goffer. "This device is already improving the quality of life for many people and we look forward to seeing its continued expansion around the world including in the US where we are awaiting FDA clearance for daily personal use."
The technology was demonstrated by Israeli Army Veteran Radi Kaiuf and US Army Veteran Theresa Hannigan, paraplegics who can now stand and walk independently with the ReWalk. Sgt. Hannigan served during the Vietnam era and was left paralyzed two years ago as a result of a progressive autoimmune disease.
"I'm so pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate for President Obama this amazing technology that will benefit the lives of many men and women who have been impacted by spinal cord injuries," said Sgt. Hannigan, who trains with the ReWalk at the Spinal Cord Damage Research Center at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. "A couple of years ago, doctors told me I would never walk again, but now thanks to this technology I am able to do anything from standing-up and hugging my family to walking a one-mile road race."
Since its inception in 2001, ARGO has expanded into a global company with more than 30 ReWalk centers and 220 trained ReWalkers around the world. Most recently they opened a US headquarters based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. ARGO offers two ReWalk models - the ReWalk Personal for use at home, currently available in Israel, Europe and pending FDA review in the US; and the ReWalk Rehabilitation that is now available in Israel, Europe, and the United States.
The ReWalk uses patented technology with motorized legs that power knee and hip movement. It controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides functional walking speed. A forward tilt of the upper body is sensed by the system, which triggers the first step. Repeated body shifting generates a sequence of steps, which allows natural and efficient walking.
About ARGO Medical Technologies
ARGO Medical Technologies develops, manufactures and markets exoskeletons for people with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia. The ReWalk exoskeleton suit uses patented technology with motorized legs that power knee and hip movement. Battery-powered for all-day use, ReWalk is controlled by on-board computers and motion sensors, restoring self-initiated walking without needing tethers or switches to begin stepping. ReWalk controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides functional walking speed. Founded in 2001 in Israel, ARGO is today an international company with headquarters in the US, Germany and Israel. For more information, please visit http://www.rewalk.com.