Paralysed from a car crash, Israeli Amit Goffer created robotic trousers just like Wallace & Gromit's - only not controlled by an evil penguin. The ReWalk trousers use sensors and motors to aid users' rehabilitation, teaching them to walk again.
Not only can they help patients stand and walk, but they can also show them how to climb stairs again. They may weigh 15kg, but when strapped on to the legs with a harness around the waist and shoulders, it recognises shifts in upper-body movement, and shifts the motorised joints to compensate. Battery life isn't that brilliant when you compare it to your smartphone, with the backpack holding just a 3.5-hour charge, but patients won't be up for clambering about for longer than that anyway.
The ReWalk trousers are going on sale in January, for around $US100,000, after extensive testing in the US and Israel. Reports of a warning in the safety manual, urging users to keep it away from evil penguins, are entirely unfounded. [Daily Mail]