August 29, 2015 00:16 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
...    
🔇
X


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?”
 
“Great!”
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
Comments
     
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

  • Audio Is China’s Economic Information Correct?

    An American expert on China says the Chinese government is not influencing information about the country’s economic growth. He believes that the economy is changing quickly. And he says the ways of measuring new economic activity is unable to keep up with the changes. More

  • Audio Ten Years after Katrina, New Orleans Is a Different City

    On the anniversary of storm, President Obama and other officials recognize efforts to remake a city famous for its culture and music. More

  • Video Volunteers Change Lives, Build Community

    A non-profit group called Thread helps high school students find a job, wash their clothes, complete school and more. The relationships between its volunteers and the students are designed to last at least 10 years. | As It Is More

  • Audio China's Slowing Economy Affects Markets Worldwide

    China’s stock market has dropped by more than 40 percent since June. Signs of a slowing economy in China have had effects on other stock markets and raised questions of whether measure to increase growth are enough. More

  • Audio 50 Migrants Found Dead in a Truck in Austria

    The discovery of up to 50 dead refugees in Austria came on the same day as a European migrant crisis meeting in Vienna. Also in the news, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans ahead of the city's 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; China's stock markets recover after 5 days of losses. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Betty Azar, 'Rock Star' of English Grammar

    It all started with a question from a student. The year was 1965. Betty Azar was teaching her first English as a Second Language class at the University of Iowa. A student from the Middle East asked Ms. Azar, “Why can’t I put a in front of water?’ As in ‘I drank a water.’” More

  • Audio Millions with Mental Illness Get Little or No Treatment

    The World Health Organization reports that hundreds of millions of people worldwide have a mental disorder. However, the WHO adds that most get little or no treatment. Learn the vocabulary needed to talk about this important study. More

  • Hoarding

    Video Could Organizing Your Home Change Your Life?

    A new movement in the United States is all about clearing away unnecessary things in your life. A Japanese cleaning expert on clutter is now the hot topic on playgrounds, at work and parties. But can cleaning out clutter really help you succeed at your job or lose weight? Read on to learn more. More

  • Video More Latin for Your English!

    In part two of our series on Latin’s influence on American English, we learn more Latin words and phrases. From popular movies to rock songs, Latin is used very frequently in American English. More

  • Audio Everyday Grammar: We Suggest That You Learn the Subjunctive

    How can we be polite and stress urgency at the same time? The subjunctive offers speakers a polite and diplomatic way to give a command or express that something is very important. Learn how to use it in noun clauses from the Everyday Grammar experts. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs