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Paralyzed Man Able to Walk with Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton Suit

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Thanks to a mind-controlled robot suit, a paralyzed man is able to walk. The 30-year-old man, identified only as Thibault, moved all four of his paralyzed limbs using an exoskeleton controlled by his brain.

The suit is controlled by two implants that were surgically placed on the surface of Thibault's brain. The implants cover parts of the brain that control movement and 64 electrodes from each implant read the brain activity. The movement instructions are sent to a nearby computer, which reads the brainwaves and turns them into instructions for the exoskeleton, according the BBC.

Thibault said walking in the suit was like being the "first man on the moon," according to the BBC. While his movements were far from perfect, researchers believe the suit could one day improve patients' quality of life. So far, Thibault has only only tested it in the lab at Clinatec and the University of Grenoble in France. 

Thibault was paralyzed four years when he fell nearly 50 feet. He was previously an optician, but his spinal cord injury resulted in two years in the hospital. He began taking part in the exoskeleton trial in 2017, at first practicing on a virtual character in a computer game. 


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