October 10, 2015 10:48 UTC

As It Is

Robotic Suit Helps Paralyzed Man Walk

A paralyzed man wears a bionic skeleton to help him walk again.
A paralyzed man wears a bionic skeleton to help him walk again.
Robotic Suit Helps Paralyzed Man Walk
Robotic Suit Helps Paralyzed Man Walki
|| 0:00:00

Men in wheelchairs have come to play basketball.
Bob Amelio leads a team called the Freewheelers.  They have gathered here often, but this time is different.  Today they have come to see Bob do something he has not done in 26 years: walk.
Bob’s physical therapists -- at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center -- are measuring him.  They are getting him ready for a new, high-tech suit that will lift him out of his wheelchair and tell his legs to move.
The suit is a wearable robot, known as an Ekso Bionic Exoskeleton. 
People who are between 150 and 190 centimeters tall and weigh 100 kilograms or less may be able to use the device.
When the therapist pushes the button, the Ekso pushes Bob forward and up.  Then, motors powered by batteries act as muscles, forcing his legs to move.
Russ Angold is the co-creator of Ekso Bionics.
“They still bear their own weight on their bone structure.  The Ekso just provides the support and the ability to move.”
Kevin Oldt already uses the suit.  He says it brings more than physical changes. 
“When you put hope into somebody that lost hope, it changes their whole way of living and life -- hundred percent.  That word ‘hope’ is a powerful word.”
Bob Amelio says standing is much better than sitting.
“When you’re sitting down, people are, are looking down on you and you gotta look up and a lot of times you don’t hear real well when you’re down, sitting down.  So it’s very important to be that, that you can be eye to eye.”
“Oh, wow!”
“Will you be OK?”
That is Bob’s service dog, Bear.  He has never seen him stand before, and he is a little worried.
Within three minutes of putting on the suit, Bob Amelio is walking.
“1-2-3. Bring the walker forward. Yeah!”
“Forgot how tall I was.”
The company says everyone who has been given their doctor’s permission and is healthy has walked the first time they have tried the device.  An experienced user can move from their wheelchair and put the skeleton on in less than five minutes. 
The therapists see that Bob’s legs are trying to move on their own, before being led to do so by the Ekso suit.  They say this is surprising for his first day. 
Bob’s wife Pam gives him a kiss in celebration.
“Ahhh. Fantastic!”
Bob Amelio dreams of walking his daughter Trish down the aisle at her wedding.
He shows Trish a video of his first walk.
Bob Amelio is looking forward to his next walk -- with his daughter on her wedding day.
Trish: “So it’s going to happen?”
Bob: “It’s gonna definitely gonna happen!  I’m going to walk down the aisle.”
Trish: “He’s going to walk me down the aisle?” 

I'm June Simms.
Question image

Robotic Suit Helps Paralyzed Man Walk

Test your vocabulary and comprehension.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: ze marotta from: Brazil
06/08/2014 11:03 PM
How many costs this fantastic device ???

In Response

by: VOA Learning English
06/09/2014 3:09 PM
You can find out more about the bionic exoskeleton on the Ekso Bionics website: http://eksobionics.com
They have answers to a lot of questions on their FAQ page.

by: Naser
06/08/2014 3:49 PM
It is fantastic. iwould like to say thanks to that scientist.

by: Anthony from: France
06/08/2014 10:03 AM
Incredible ! This is a big piece of news for paralyzed people who don't know the real definition of ... "walk". Congratulation to engineer! ;)

by: shahnawaz khan abro from: street 1 gribabad H.NO:A/ 80 hyerabad sindh pakistan.
06/08/2014 3:17 AM
i like..

Learn with The News

  • Video A Taste of Japan at the ‘Grand Sake Tasting’

    Jasmine Taylor pours sake at the Grand Sake Tasting in Washington, D.C. Japanese music played while people drank rice wine and ate traditional food. This celebration raised money for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. More

  • Audio China Warns About ‘Provocative’ Moves in South China Sea

    Recent reports said that the U.S. was planning sea patrols close to man-made islands in the South China Sea. When asked about these reports, China’s Foreign Ministry warned against “provocative behavior” in the area where many countries have conflicting territorial claims. More

  • Audio US Arrests Former UN Official

    John Ashe was arrested on Tuesday at his home outside New York City. The 61-year-old served as United Nations General Assembly president. US officials say he charged with taking bribes and violating US tax law. Five other people also are charged in connection with the case. More

  • A child injured in a bombing in Syria is rushed to medical help.

    Audio Syrian Bombings Have a Human Cost

    The Syrian Network for Human Rights says the Syrian government has dropped more than 1,700 barrel bombs from helicopters. The group says at least 103 people have died as a result. More

  • Audio Tunisian Group Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

    National Dialogue Quartet supported democracy during the “Jasmine Revolution” of 2011, when the country was close to civil war. | As It Is More

Featured Stories

  • Video Who Goes to a Rock Concert With Their Mother? Millennials!

    When musicians over the age of 50 are the star performers, you expect to see many Baby Boomers cheering them on. Aging rock music stars usually have Baby Boomer fans. Younger rock stars are more likely to appeal to Millennials. But at the Lockn' Music festival, two generations came together. More

  • Audio Tunisian Group Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

    National Dialogue Quartet supported democracy during the “Jasmine Revolution” of 2011, when the country was close to civil war. | As It Is More

  • Video The Lady, or the Tiger?

    Long ago, in very olden times, there lived a powerful king. Some of his ideas were progressive. But others caused people to suffer. This story is a classic tale of a tough decision. Which door has the tiger behind it, and which door has the lady? We'll let you decide! More

  • #aidrefugees

    Audio Top 5 Crowdfunding Projects Ever

    Crowdfunding sites can help start profitable businesses or help people in need. More

  • Video Fabric Fights Dust Mites in Your Bed

    Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies. People with allergies have trouble breathing or suffer from tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Now, scientists in Poland say they have successfully tested cloth that the microscopic creatures cannot pass through. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs