Amanda Boxtel was told by her doctor that she would never walk again following a skiing accident in 1992, that left her paralyzed from the waist down. However, thanks to 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics, a 3D printed robotic exoskeleton has restored her ability to walk.
Exoskeltons have been explored and developed by organizations like DARPA, with the aim of enhancing the military, however the technology is seeing great results in the medical field too.
Amanda Boxtel had her thighs, shins and spine scanned allowing the tailor-made exoskeleton to be 3D printed. Then Ekso Bionics applied mechanical actuators and controls to the printed components.
“This project represents the triumph of human creativity and technology that converged to restore my authentic functionality in a stunningly beautiful, fashionable and organic design,” says Boxtel.
This is yet another triumph for this type of technology, following a string of success stories. In 2012 a 3D printed robotic exoskeleton was created for a young girl using a Stratasys Dimension 3D printer, enabling her to move for the first time.
Watch video footage below of Boxtel showcasing the Ekso-Suit.
[Image via neoteo]