Paraplegic in Iron Man Suit Will Kick Off World Cup
Tomorrow, a paralyzed young man will use an Ironman-like mind-controlled exoskeleton to take the first kick of the World Cup.
The exoskeleton was built by the Walk Again Project, a branch of the International Neuroscience Network Foundation that aims to build on research from Duke University that showed a monkey's thoughts could propel a robot.
Eight paraplegics have been taught to use this suit since December. Like the recently tested mind-controlled planes, the suit is controlled by a cap of electrodes attached to the head. The electrodes detect brain signals which are sent to a computer worn in a backpack in the form of electrical signals, and these electrical signals are then converted into movement.
"It's the first time an exoskeleton has been controlled by brain activity and offered feedback to the patients," said project leader Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University.
"Doing a demonstration in a stadium is something very much outside our routine in robotics. It's never been done before."