A $40,000 Exoskeleton Allows Paraplegics to Walk

Created by the Berkeley-based company SuitX, the Phoenix Exoskeleton lets paraplegics sit, stand and walk. And it costs only $40,000, far less than competitive products.

The minimalist design makes the robot very light—about 12 kilograms. The approach behind Phoenix was not to build a complete mobility machine or to enable paraplegics to negotiate an obstacle course, but to allow wheelchair-bound people to stand, sit and walk. Even if users still need crutches or a walker for balance, they feel like they’re actually walking.

The manufacturers believe that the price is still too high and hope to lower it to approximate that of a motorcycle in the coming years.

They are also working to adapt the system for children.


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