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3D robotic suit helps paralysed woman walk!

Posted on Feb 23 2014 | IANS

New York, Feb 23 : The state-of-the-art 3D printer technology can even help paralysed people take a stroll down the street or walk about in the comfort of their home! Amanda Boxtel, a pilot who was paralysed from the waist down in a 1992 skiing accident, is now moving about with the help of a 3D-printed exoskeleton robotic suit.

Developed by US-based three-dimensional printer makers 3D systems and robotic exoskeleton maker Ekso Bionics, the first ever 3D printed hybrid robotic suit helps Boxtel stand up and walk on her own, said media reports.

"We had to be very specific with the design so we never had 3D-printed parts bumping into bony prominences, which can lead to abrasions," said Scott Summit, the senior director for functional design at 3D Systems.

"After years of dreaming about it, I am deeply grateful and thrilled to be making history by walking tall," Boxtel said in a press release.

"This project represents the triumph of human creativity and technology that converged to restore my authentic functionality in a stunningly beautiful, fashionable and organic design," Boxtel added.

The manufacturers used 3D scanning to digitise the contours of Boxtel's thighs, shins and spine to create a personalised 3D base to print the suit.

Ekso Bionics created the sophisticated mechanical actuators and controls for the suit.

Both 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics have a history in making health-related devices.

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