World Cup exoskeleton will help a paralyzed teen to kick the first ball today

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Today Worldcup begins and with it something even more amazing is going to happen: a paralyzed Brazilian teenager will stand up from the wheelchair, walk onto the field and kick the first ball, controlling their actions using their own mind. This will happen thanks to the World Cup exoskeleton (a motorized exoskeleton and a 3D printed helmet).

world cup kickoff

Called the Walk Again Project, the kick will be one of the first massively public demonstrations of a human controlling a robot with neural signals. Plus, it’s a simbolic but historical kick that aims to change the lifes of millions of people in the World, showcasing a different Brazil, more humanitary and concerned about people.

“With enough political will and investment, we could make wheelchairs obsolete.”, says the Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, leader of the project.

world cup kickoff

How does the World Cup exoskeleton works? The teen will wear a a bionic exoskeleton, custom made with 3D printed parts, and controlled via a sophisticated brain–computer interface – the exoskeleton allows the person to control the movement of metal leg braces and the helmet, considered the brain of the exoskeleton, will have sensors over specific areas of the skull, so that the machine can receive key signals for movement.

Because of the very precise location needed for the numerous sensors, 3D print was the best option for it, as we can see on the following video:

“After the demonstration we will continue and then we are going to work out how to get the technology into people’s hands. It is going to be within our time. I still have another 20 years before I retire, it’s going to be before that.”, saysMiguel Nicolelis to BBC.

 

Stay tunned for today’s first game – it is only the beginning to a great change in the world.

 

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