Paralysed woman to walk London Marathon using robotic exoskeleton

paralysed woman to walk london marathon using robotic exoskeleton rewalkParalysed in a horse-riding accident in 2007, Claire Lomas was told by doctors that she would never walk again.

But thanks to a special robotic suit, the 31-year-old Brit is now back on her feet. Lomas, who has been wheelchair-bound since her accident, is so excited by recent developments that she’s decided to take on a challenge that even most able-bodied people would balk at — a 26-mile marathon.

The ReWalk suit, described as a powered exoskeleton that provides user-initiated mobility, will help Lomas complete the course, taking place in London on April 22. Her immediate challenge is learning to walk using the robotic suit in the limited time she has left between now and the day of the event.paralysed woman to walk london marathon using robotic exoskeleton claire lomas

“It is physically hard work and incredibly frustrating at times to get the technique right, but when I make progress, it gives me a fantastic feeling,” Lomas told the Telegraph in a recent interview.

ReWalk’s creator, an Israel-based tech company called Argo, says on its website that a user can control the robotic exoskeleton through subtle changes in their center of gravity. Crutches are recommended, to provide extra stability and safety.

The technology comprises a number of motors and gears strapped to the user’s lower body, while sensors attached to the upper body help to control the motion. A computer, together with a rechargeable battery power source, is located in a backpack. Once mastered, a user can even use ReWalk to climb stairs.

When ReWalk detects the user moving their weight onto one foot, it raises the opposite leg and carries the user forward. Lomas says that she’s currently working on getting the rhythm right.

“I keep wanting to look at my legs to see what they are doing,” she told the Telegraph. “There is so much to think about and the weight shift is subtle. You have got to learn how to do that and to do it efficiently – it is really frustrating at first. If you don’t get it right, the leg won’t lift. You can’t just strap yourself in and go, you have to work at it.”

With the London marathon only a short time away, Lomas is working hard to get ready. By completing the course — which she thinks could take up to three weeks — she hopes to raise in the region of $78,000 (£50,000) for spinal research.

Outdoors

Garmin’s new Instinct GPS watch is built for the sportsman in all of us

The new Garmin Instinct is a GPS multisport watch for people who love to be outdoors. The $300 Instinct takes the best features of the company's popular Fenix watches and packages them into rugged, military-grade package.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture on your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand-new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Emerging Tech

This intelligent parachute system can bail out clumsy drone pilots

Parachutes can save drones when they unexpectedly fall from the sky. Among a number of such systems, Austrian firm Drone Rescue is this week showing off its latest design that automatically deploys when it senses trouble.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Emerging Tech

Tokyo robotic warehouse needs almost no human workers

Uniqlo has unveiled its first robot-powered warehouse that requires 90 percent fewer human workers to operate. The Japanese clothing giant plans to invest close to $1 billion dollars to convert all of its warehouses worldwide.
Emerging Tech

Curious how A.I. 'brains' work? Here's a super-simple breakdown of deep learning

What is deep learning? A branch of machine learning, this field deals with the creation of neural networks that are modeled after the brain and adept at dealing with large amounts of human-oriented data, like writing and voice commands.
Emerging Tech

Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. Check out Skynet's future pet as you've never seen it before.
Emerging Tech

Self-correcting quadcopter can keep itself aloft even if one rotor fails

Most quadcopters won't fly unless all four rotors are functioning. But what happens if one gets damaged during flight? Researchers from the Netherlands think they've come up with a solution.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.
Emerging Tech

This gadget lets you sleep on airplanes without snuggling a stranger

Odd gadget, or a hug for your face? The Napup Fly+ is a travel pillow, sleep mask, and personal speaker system all rolled into one, attached to the back of the headrest to hold your head up.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.