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Paraplegic with robot suit to open World Cup

Posted on Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 | Comment icon 15 comments

Scientists have been developing the exoskeleton for years. Image Credit: YouTube / The Guardian
A paralysed person wearing an advanced exoskeleton will kick off the world's biggest football event.
During the World Cup opening ceremony in Sao Paulo a paraplegic, whose name has yet to be revealed, will stand up from their wheelchair and kick the ball using an Iron Man-like robotic suit controlled directly by signals from their brain.

"It's the first time an exoskeleton has been controlled by brain activity," said Dr Miguel Nicolelis. "Doing a demonstration in a stadium is something very much outside our routine in robotics. It's never been done before."

The exoskeleton works by picking up the wearer's brain signals and translating them in to physical movements. In the future suits like this could allow people with paralysis to leave their wheelchairs behind on a permanent basis.

"In 2009, after we learned Brazil was hosting the World Cup, they asked me for ideas to show Brazil in a different way than the world usually sees it," said Dr Nicolelis. "That's when I suggested doing a scientific demonstration to teach people that Brazil is investing and has human potential to do things beyond football."

Source: Sydney Morning Herald | Comments (15)

Tags: Football, World Cup, Exoskeleton, Robot

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Junior Chubb on 11 June, 2014, 18:56
The future is now. A disabled man is walking on the field because he has robotic legs You couldn't make this stuff up 100 years ago Imagine 100 years from now, the technology may allow a paraplegic man to play in the World Cup. I hope they pull this off. Personally, this would be akin to the moon landings. What, you mean people will label it as a hoax!!!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Vox on 11 June, 2014, 22:24
I like what you did there Chubb!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Whatsinausername on 12 June, 2014, 4:49
If this exoskeleton can be made practically, what a boon! I can see some scientist trying to make a set of "Doc Oct" arms
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 12 June, 2014, 4:56
This is really futuristic and exciting!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Talion78 on 12 June, 2014, 5:59
They are already making "Doc Oc" arms
Comment icon #11 Posted by maximusnow on 12 June, 2014, 13:14
The future will have paraplegic robots wearing human exoskeletons.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Junior Chubb on 12 June, 2014, 23:17
Well that was a let down, I saw him warming up at the edge of the pitch.... Was that it, did he make an entrance, did I miss anything?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Silent Trinity on 13 June, 2014, 9:09
Very inspiring, these are the advancements in research we want....not 'we have proved beer goggles exist' ffs
Comment icon #14 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 13 June, 2014, 9:58
Well that was a let down, I saw him warming up at the edge of the pitch.... Was that it, did he make an entrance, did I miss anything? I only saw him for a second and that was it
Comment icon #15 Posted by Junior Chubb on 16 June, 2014, 11:12
I only saw him for a second and that was it Not a great advert for the hardware, maybe there was a technical hiccup. Glad you backed me up though, I was wondering if I fell asleep during the boredom of the Opening Ceremony and missed it.

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