Man walks again with aid of exoskeleton


Errol Samuels, a 22-year-old whose legs are paralyzed, is learning to walk again less than two years after an accident confined him to a wheelchair. Using a computer-controlled exoskeleton called “ReWalk,” Samuels is walking on crutches during physiotheraphy sessions in New York City. It’s designed to rehabilitate spinal cord injuries like Samuels to eventually walk again, without the aid of machines.

22-year-old Errol Samuels from Queens, New York, who lost the use of his legs in 2012 after a roof collapsed onto him at an off-campus house party near where he was attending college in upstate New York, lifts himself from his wheelchair into a ReWalk electric powered exoskeletal suit for a therapy session at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City March 26, 2014. Made by the Israeli company Argo Medical Technologies, ReWalk is a computer controlled device that powers the hips and knees to help those with lower limb disabilities and paralysis to walk upright using crutches. Allan Kozlowski, assistant professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai hospital, where patients like Samuels are enrolled in his clinical trials of the ReWalk and another exoskeleton, the Ekso (Ekso Bionics) hopes machines like these will soon offer victims of paralysis new hope for a dramatically improved quality of life and mobility. The ReWalk is currently only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in rehabilitation facilities like at Mount Sinai, as they weigh whether to approve the device for home use as it already is in Europe.

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