Claire Lomas walks the London marathon with the help of a robotic suit
In 2007, accomplished equestrian, Claire Lomas, was told that she would never walk again after a riding accident left her paralysed from the waist down. 5 years later Claire’s about to finish the 2012 London Marathon with the help of a robotic suit.
The exoskeleton, named Rewalk was developed by ARGO Medical Technologies. The equipment is supposedly quite light to wear considering it includes: actuation motors, motion sensors, a computer system and rechargeable batteries. Walking is controlled through subtle changes in the user’s center of gravity; a slight lean in one direction causes forward motion. The suit’s actuation motors are located on the user’s natural joints so movement is made as naturally and intuitively as possible although crutches must also be used to maintain stability.
The video above shows some of Claire’s pre-race training sessions. Although it’s still very challenging, she’s made fast progress using the technology; ¨To start with I just had to find my balance without wobbling,¨ states Claire in an article by the BBC. Her hard work has paid off and she is now covering an average of over 2 km a day.The Marathon started on April 22nd but Claire kept at it, raising over 60,000 euro for the charity Spinal Research by the time she reached the finish line on May 8th.
Watch the video below by Cyclone Technologies to see an interview with another ReWalk user, John Dawson-Ellis.