Paralysed man walks using mind-controlled robotic suit

2020/10/08 14:30

Today's Vocabulary

1. paralysed (adj)
unable to move or act

2. constraints (n) 
something that controls what you do by keeping you within particular limits

3. quadriplegic (adj)
permanently unable to move or feel your arms or legs,
usually because of a severe injury  to the spine (= bones in the center of the back)


4. exoskeleton (n)
a hard outer layer that covers, supports, and protects the body of an invertebrate animal such as insect or crustacean

5. harness (n)
a piece of equipment with straps and belts, used to control or old in place a person, animal, or object 

6. injury (n)
physical harm or damage to someone’s body caused by an accident or an attack 

Paralysed man walks using mind-controlled robotic suit

A man paralysed from the shoulders down has been able to walk using a pioneering four-limb robotic suit, or exoskeleton, that is commanded by signals from his brain.

The 28-year-old quadriplegic patient, known only as Thibault, used a system of sensors implanted near his brain to send messages to move all four of his paralysed limbs of the exoskeleton which was attached to a ceiling harness to help him balance.

In this trial, two recording devices were implanted, one either side of the patient’s head between the brain and the skin, spanning the sensorimotor cortex region of the brain that controls sensation and motor function.

Each recorder contained 64 electrodes which collected brain signals and transmitted them to a decoding algorithm. The system translated the brain signals into the movements the patient thought about, and sent his commands to the exoskeleton.

Over two years, the patient carried out various mental tasks to train the algorithm to understand his thoughts and to progressively increase the number of movements he could make.

Commenting on the results, Tom Shakespeare, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was “a welcome and exciting advance” but added: “Proof of concept is a long way from usable clinical possibility.”

“A danger of hype always exists in this field. Even if ever workable, cost constraints mean that high-tech options are never going to be available to most people in the world with spinal cord injury.”


  1. Do you think we will become cyborgs one day?
  2. What do you think of this technology?
  3. Will robots control humans one day?

“Get out of your own way… stop the paralysis by analysis… decide what you want, create a simple plan, and get moving!”

Steve Maraboli