Paralympic Exoskeleton Sees European Commercial Launch For Personal Use

In short

Exoskeleton technology leader, ARGO Medical Technologies, has announced that its ReWalk exoskeleton suit is now commercially available for personal use throughout Europe.

Background

The ReWalk is designed to give persons with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, an experience that is as close to natural walking as possible. The ReWalk exoskeleton suit uses a patented technology with motorised 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. 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. The ReWalk™ also sits, stands, allows turning and has the ability to climb and descend stairs.

ARGO executives shared this exciting news during a press conference at REHACARE, the leading international trade fair for rehabilitation, prevention, integration and self-determined living where several ReWalk users, including one from Germany, demonstrated the technology to fellow attendees and potential candidates for this groundbreaking technology.

Company comments

“The ReWalk personal system is now being utilized in everyday life in Germany, Italy, Israel and the United Kingdom. We now have 10 rehabilitation centers with training systems in five European countries and plan to continue to add more locations,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ARGO. “REHACARE International was an amazing opportunity to showcase the ReWalk to thousands of potential users. This launch is an important step to make the ReWalk available to anyone who wants one.”

Paralympics Opening Ceremony

During the press conference, Claire Lomas, the first person to take home the ReWalk for daily use, discussed her experiences using the system at home and in other routine activities. Lomas from Leicestershire, England is a paraplegic who was injured in 2007 during a horse riding accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. In April 2012, she used the ReWalk to become the first person in the world to complete the London Marathon while using an exoskeleton suit and raised more than £200,000 for spine injury research. As a result, Lomas was chosen to light the celebration cauldron in Trafalgar Square to kick-off the 2012 Paralympics in London. She was also awarded the Inspirational Fundraiser Award at this year’s Inspiration Awards for women.

User comments

“This extraordinary technology allowed me to complete the entire marathon course,” said Lomas, “but the ability it has given me in my daily life, to look out my kitchen window, walk with my daughter or to go to the pub and stand to speak with everyone at eye level are moments that I can now have.

Source: Argo Medical Technologies, Business Wire