Paralyzed Student Walks at Graduation Using Robotic Exoskeleton
A car crash in 2007 left 22-year-old Austin Whitney paralyzed, but with the help of UC Berkley professor Homayoon Kazerooni, Whitney, with a major in history and political science, was able to leave his wheelchair and walk across the stage at his graduation. Kazerooni and his team of four doctoral students at UC Berkley developed the exoskeleton with lightness and a cheap price tag in mind, opting not to add expensive hardware or tethering the exoskeleton to a backpack that houses a computer and a rechargeable eight-hour battery. Leaving out these components reduced the cost of the exoskeleton to around $15,000, making the exoskeleton (no pun intended) a little barebones, but much more affordable than the usual $100,000 price tag. Head on past the break to see the inspirational graduation walk, and Kazerooni discussing the the exoskeleton, as well as his vision of where the technology may lead.