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Innovative Choices: Wheelchairs May Soon Be a Thing of the Past

March 25, 2012

Most of us can walk, bend, stand and turn in countless ways without giving it another thought. But, what if, for the rest of your life, you lost the use of your legs and the only option was a wheelchair? The world would be very different; almost everything would have to be adapted for you to live a fairly normal life. Now, however, there are some new devices on the market that have the potential to “normalize” functioning for those who until now have been tied to a wheel chair

Innovative ideas are often simple but the manifestation frequently has to wait for the right technology to be invented (think of Leonardo DaVinci’s helicopter). This has finally happened and in the past few years two new types of devices for paraplegics and quadraplegics have come on the market.

The Exoskeleton allows a paraplegic to walk but because you still need crutches it can be used only by people that have full use of their arms. The other option is the Robotic Mobilization Device that looks like a Segway — the head-turning two-wheeled vehicle a rider use while standing. You can have a look at these amazing aids in the following video clips.

At the moment these innovative devices are fairly costly (between $15,000 and $20,000) but like everything else, as more people buy them they will become more affordable.

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