British Woman Becomes First Person To Don A Robotic Power Suit For Life

Claire Lomas is an extraordinary woman. She is paralysed from the chest down, but amazingly that didn't stop her from completing the gruelling London marathon in 17 days with the help of a robotic exoskeleton. Now, she’s become the first person in history to take home a power suit for everyday living. Even though she can’t walk unaided, she can now climb stairs and — most importantly — stand at the bar to get a schooner.

The marathon walk Lomas completed in April was a hell of a beta test for the machine, which up until that point was still in trials. This is the first time a suit has been given to a disabled patient for full-time usage, and marks a major step forward for power suit technology. Next stop: Iron Man.

It’s hoped that quite a few wheelchair users could be equipped with the suit to take them out and about, which would be fantastic. But I still can’t help but think how good it would be to have one of these power suits for myself, maybe in hot-rod red and orange.

Imagine being able to lift vast weights, or leap tall buildings in a single bound. OK, we’re not there just yet, but one can dream, right? [Reuters]

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Comments

    Does anyone have any manufacturer, availability, cost information on the device?

      About $90 grand.
      I can see pensioners grabbing these things to use instead of walking frames and those bloody nuisance electric carts sooner than later. Next big sinister social issue... forget kids with bad manners on Twitter, think gangs of pensioners racing around in packs..!! :)

        The Granny Gang Menace http://youtu.be/5tq89_rAu_s

    "...stand at the bar to get a schooner."
    maybe after a few too many she becomes legless?

      Ok, now go to the dunce corner.. Go on! and put that pointy hat on too.. ;)

        Also, not much chance of getting a schooner in Britain.

    This is nice and all but I think as soon as we can properly repair spinal injuries devices like this will fall by the wayside. It's just a fancy wheelchair.

      Disagree. This thing will get used by pensioners, and developed to help nurses, heavy lift aids and a plethora of other things. I've already seen pictures of similar devices being worn by farmers in Asia who need to bend down constantly.

        and for cargo handling & construction workers on other planets...

        >_>

          scv good to go sir

    I'm curious, was this post localised to say "to get a schooner" instead of "to get a pint"?

      Yeah, it's odd. A schooner in the UK is a boat, a pint is a champion's breakfast.

    so these things will give you superhuman strength eh.

    Could I like punch through walls?

      maybe.. If you strapped it to your arms instead :P

    How long till we can get the cargo loaders from Aliens?

    I like the Stark Industries version better

    Couple this with the success being made in spinal stem cell injections (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/09/spinal-stem-cell-injections-help-reverse-paralysis/) and ....

    So glad to see this kind of enabling technology being provided to the needy first. At least in this case.
    In other words, someone who actually needs it to live something like a normal life instead of being sidetracked for money making.

    ermmm; British people dont know what schooners are ;p

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