Exoskeleton Lets Paralyzed Gulf War Vet Walk for Veteran’s Day

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A crushed spine is usually a life sentence of confinement to, at best, a wheelchair–but at least one vet is taking steps to change all that. In fact, Gary Linfoot is  making for an inspiring story for Veteran’s Day. Five years ago the Army pilot’s helicopter suffered was brought down by a mechanical failure during Linfoot’s 19th combat tour in Iraq. Linfoot crashed in the deserts of Iraq, and his spine was crushed on impact. He was lucky to survive. Nobody was talking about him ever walking again.

But that’s all changing because of the Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton. Yes, bionics. They’ve come a long way since the television shows of the ’70s and ’80s. Remember how Steve Austin had to be rebuilt via bionics on the television show The Six Million Dollar Man? How about Automan? Yeah, that one wasn’t as popular, but it was this television show about an automatic man that a computer programmer made out of a cop and a hologram. He had a sparkly Fat Elvis suit. No one remembers. That’s why we bring it up.

Anyway, now it’s the 21st century, and Gary Linfoot is walking again on Veterans Day because of a device that fits over him like an insect’s exoskeleton. It’s kind of like putting on a robot. Battery-powered motors drive his legs as compensation for his damaged neuromuscular functions. He’s priced at a lot less than $6,000,000, too. the unit only cost $125,000 and was paid for by a nonprofit group called Infinite Hero. They gave Linfoot his own Ekso suit. And while the veteran isn’t fully up to speed yet, this video shows Linfoot hitting the ground to a promising future…

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