We are watching the progress of eLEGS, unveiled by Berkeley Bionics last fall, very closely. It is going to revolutionize quality of life for many people who are paralyzed.
Watch this short video and see for yourself how new eLEGS test pilot, Sarah Anderson, takes her very first steps at Berkeley Bionics. According to the company, Sarah progressed quickly from a walker to crutches. Read more about Sarah and her story on Empowered, the official blog of Berkeley Bionics.
In December, CNN named eLEGS as the #3 Innovation of 2010, topped only by electric cars, and of course Apple's IPad, which secured the #1 spot for innovation in 2010.
And another brief video shows testing in progress at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta just a few weeks ago:
According to a press release issued in October 2010, Berkeley Bionics strives to provide the 6 million Americans who are living with paralysis today "unprecedented mobility options." For the past 500 years or so, options for paraplegics have been limited to wheelchairs. Berkeley Bionics' CEO, Eythor Bender, says "We want to enhance their independence and freedom of movement, and with eLEGS, they can stand up and walk for the first time since their injury."
The press release states that the eLEGS device can be adjusted to fit most people between 5'2" and 6'4" who weigh 220 lbs or less, in a matter of minutes. Users must be able to self-transfer from their wheelchair.
And finally, read more about eLEGS in an article post from TIME's Healthland titled "Bionic Legs Allow Paraplegics to Get Up and Walk."