Future steps: exoskeleton lets paralyzed snowmobiler walk again
Robotic exoskeletons are a staple of sci-fi, pointing to a future where technology can overcome serious injury and bestow superhuman powers on people. But that future is here today for Paul Thacker, who uses an exoskeleton about once a month to stand up and walk around — no small feat, considering he's paralyzed from the chest down.
The 39-year-old Alaska native and snowmobile enthusiast lost the use of his lower body in a training accident in 2010 and was told he’d be confined to a wheelchair, potentially for the rest of his life. But while in physical therapy at a Colorado hospital in 2011, he stumbled across the Esko.