It’s 2012 and exoskeletons are all the rage. And there are two main companies creating these miracle suits right now, if you have the money and a sense of Ironman adventure that is.
First, there’s Esko Bionics, based out of Cali, a company that makes an exoskeleton based on H.E.R.C, an original military design. The company has been promoting their product a lot this year. It’s a truly amazing machine, but the major drawback with the current design – crutches are needed in order to use it.
The crutches with this exoskeleton have always bugged me. I was so happy when I first heard about it, my dreams of walking may omg finally come true, but then…bummer…I saw that even low paras with great torso control have to use crutches when they’re in it. Quads can’t even use it right now. I did hear they’re working on a self-balancing version in the near future.
And that brings me to the New Zealand version of the exoskeleton, the REX. This exoskeleton does all of the amazing things the Esko suit does – let’s you stand up and walk, walk up stairs, yet (and it’s a big yet too) it’s completely self-balancing. No crutches are needed! It is the only hands-free, self-supporting exoskeleton in existence. HUGE. And you operate it using a joystick. Beautifully easy (just like how I remember walking to be).
An online friend of mine, Sophie Morgan, a para from London, just had the opportunity to use Rex actually, and she feel in love (a great article ab