Video: Motorcycle crash victim the first to use robotic exoskeleton
Ruben de Sain from Nijmegen, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, is the first Dutchman allowed to take a robotic exoskeleton home with him for a few weeks. The exoskeleton makes him able to walk again. Ruben is taking part in a test project by the Sint Maartens Clininc in Nijmegen, Omroep Gelderland reports. After a few months of intense practicing, he is able to control the suit and can now take it home for a few weeks. The exoskeleton is a system of tubes and braces worn over the clothes. The suit's electronic motors react to pulses from the muscles, which means it can be controlled without a keyboard or joystick. Over the next two years a few dozen patients will be allowed to test the robosuit at home for two weeks. "It was a huge task getting used to it at first. The first walk was a strange sensation, it did not really feel like walking. But we trained hard in the clinic and I have the suit under control now", Ruben said to the broadcaster. "I can finally walk from A to B and look people straight in the eye. That's pretty emotional after ten years." Ruben plans to take the suit outside a lot. "I see many people with spinal cord injuries just stay inside and that is a sin. You can also go outside with a wheelchair, but with such a suit it can be much better. I would like to inspire people in my situation to make more of their lives. I therefore hope that businesses and insurers invest further in this technology so that everyone can soon make use of an exoskeleton." These tests with the exoskeleton forms part of a larger scientific study on the usability of the exoskeleton. The Sint Maartens Clinic and Radboud UMC are working on this study together.