MORE than 1500 years after the invention of the wheelchair, there is new hope that those paralysed by everything from car accidents to sniper’s bullets can walk again, Fox News Channel reported yesterday.
The Israeli made “Rewalk” has just received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and soon will help wounded American soldiers get back on their feet.
The device is a set of mechanical legs attached to a backpack battery system that allows a paralyzed patient to “walk” all day. “I can’t believe sometime I’d walk… I can’t believe it. In dreams if I got to dream, I walked,” said Radi Kaiuf.
A sniper’s bullet paralysed him nearly 20 years ago, and doctors told him he would never walk again. Now he’s walking around and even climbing stairs.
The developers had to strike a balance between the man and the machine – the machine has to move the man, but the man has to control the machine.
It uses a simple remote control worn like a wristwatch. When the user puts it in “walk” mode and leans forward, the legs start walking. Leaning back stops the device.
It has taken nearly a decade to perfect the technology that Amit Goffer came up with in his garage, and its much more than simply a business.
“From the point of view of the disabled person it’s self esteem, the dignity of the person,” he said. “I mean sitting, being in a height of a child, a grown up in a height of a child is difficult.”