In Haifa, Israel technology is once again helping people to walk with a new, battery powered exoskelton called "ReWalk".

Similar to Japan's HAL 5 powered exoskeleton, which is not suitable yet for people with paralysis, the ReWalk is a device built specifically for those with spinal injuries

ReWalk was made by Amit Goffer, a quadriplegic himself and the founder of Argo Medical Technologies, a Israeli high tech company. In a sad twist, Mr. Goffer cannot take advantage of his own invention, just like me and other quadriplegics he doesn't have the use of his hands

The ReWalk employs gear driven leg braces, batteries, body sensors and a backpack with the computer control system to allow it's wearer the ability to walk again. ReWalk has a suite of other functions selected by it's wearer with a remote control wristband. The user selects the desired setting -- stand, sit, walk, descend or climb -- and then by simply leaning forward, the computer activates the body sensors and sets the suit in motion.

Unlike it's Japanese brother HAL, the ReWalk for all it's high tech wonder requires a very low tech set of crutches to balance it's user and because of that backpack I imagine it's very difficult to carry much with you. It's a very small price to pay considering all the benefits though.

The physical benifits are huge, and the psychological benefit of being able to walk again, well that's just beyond words. As I have said for quite awhile now, cyborg type technologies would get us up and moving long before Stem Cells would and with the ReWalk the future looks very bright.

If you live in the U.S. like me don't worry about having to go to Israel to check it out. The ReWalk is scheduled for commercial sale in 2010. For now it is still in clinical trials in Tel Aviv's Sheba Medical Centre but Mr. Goffer said it will soon be used in trials at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Pennsylvania.

With a price point somewhere around $20,000 dollars it is about the same cost as a top of line motorized chair, with way more coolness, unless your in this beast!Check out the ReWalk website for lots more info. Pictures courtesy of Reuters and ArgoMedTec.

Of course I'm going to send Mr. Goffer an email and get an interview today.

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