Exoskeletons might seem like props in science fiction movies and video games, but they’re real and starting to hit the market. A new one developed by a company named SuitX is helping paralyzed people walk again. It’s expensive — MIT Technology Review says the suit costs around $40,000 — but that can be a small price to pay for what it offers.
The exoskeleton, dubbed “Phoenix,” allows its wearers to operate at up to 1.1 miles per hour, and up to 8 hours at a time, thanks to its built-in battery pack. Users will rely on crutches for balance, but the machine takes care of the rest – including physically moving the legs.
“We can’t really fix their disease,” SuitX CEO Homayoon Kaerooni told MIT Technology Review. “We can’t fix their injury. But what it would do is postpone the secondary injuries due to sitting. It gives a better quality of life.”
The current model is made for adults, but Kaerooni hopes to build one for kids soon, too.