The technology has a variety of applications. Image Credit: YouTube / The Lancet
This brain-controlled exoskeleton has made it possible for a tetraplegic to take his first steps unaided.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who has been identified only as Thibault, lost the use of his limbs after falling off a balcony and severing his spinal cord four years ago.
Now he has successfully managed to walk again thanks to a remarkable exoskeleton which, like something out of a science-fiction movie, he can directly control using his own brain signals.
He trained himself to control the suit using a specially designed video game avatar system.
"When you are in my position, when you can't do anything with your body... I wanted to do something with my brain," he said. "I can't go home tomorrow in my exoskeleton but I've got to a point where I can walk. I walk when I want and I stop when I want."
The brain-computer interface uses two recording devices implanted on either side of his head.
His brain signals are decoded automatically and interpreted as physical movements.
"The brain is still capable of generating commands that would normally move the arms and legs, there's just nothing to carry them out," said Prof Alim Louis Benabid.
While there is still a long way to go before the technology will be ready for mass adoption, this trial run shows just what's possible and offers a tantalizing glimpse of things to come.