August 20, 2014 22:23 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

  • James Foley

    Audio Obama Condemns US Journalist's Execution

    Obama has condemned the Islamic State militants who killed an American reporter and threatened to kill another one. Eric Holder meet with community leaders, local officials and FBI investigators in Ferguson. Liberia police fired tear gas at Ebola protest. More

  • APTOPIX LLWS Pennsylvania Tennessee Baseball

    Audio Girl Making History in Little League World Series

    As the Little League World Series celebrates its 40th anniversary of letting girls play, two take to the mound. And one has a fastball that is leaving the boys at the plate score-less. More

  • Founders Chef Ype Von Hengst (right  and Robert Giaimo during construction of the first Silver Diner in 1989. (Courtesy of Silver Diner)

    Audio Diners Increase Business with Healthy Food

    Restaurants called “diners” can be found throughout the United States. They make simple, low-cost food. But traditional diner food is often unhealthy. One group of diners is cooking healthier food for their customers and, surprisingly, they love it. More

  • Edie Mukiibi, the new vice president of Slow Food International, at a school garden he helped create in Mukono, Uganda, July 22, 2014. (Hilary Heuler/VOA)

    Audio Learning to Grow Traditional Foods in Uganda

    The "slow food" movement is growing in the Western world, but not in Africa. Group works to help people in Uganda and other countries grow local, healthy food. | Agriculture Report More

  • A man is lead away after being detained by police. Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.

    Audio More Than 70 Arrested in Missouri Protests

    Police arrested more than 70 protestors and reporters Monday night and early Tuesday in the central U.S. town of Ferguson, Missouri. The demonstrators were protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer on August 9. More

Featured Stories

  • sleep

    While You Sleep, Your Brain Works

    While we sleep, our brains are doing much more than getting ready for the next day. Researchers at the University of Rochester found that the brain may be busy cleaning house -- cleaning out harmful waste materials. More

  • Biltmore Outdoor

    Audio Biltmore Estate Takes Visitors Back in Time

    The huge home in North Carolina was built at the end of the 1800s. The man who owned the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina was George Vanderbilt. Biltmore has 250 rooms and the house is now open to the public. | This Is America More

  • Audio English at the Movies: Robin Williams

    Robin Williams was a humorist and a highly-trained actor. We look at some of his most famous movie lines from a Learning English angle | American Mosaic More

  • Audio From Huge to Extra Small, at New York City Museum

    Currently the Queens Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York World's Fair. The museum show is called “Bringing the World Into the World.” It includes a huge model of New York City that was made for the fair. | American Mosaic More

  • Some considered John Brown a hero.

    Audio John Brown Raids Harpers Ferry

    In October of 1859, a group of anti-slavery extremists attacked the town of Harpers Ferry. Harpers Ferry was part of Virginia then; today it is located in West Virginia. A man named John Brown led the attack. His group seized a gun factory and a center where the government kept military equipment. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs