First kick at the World Cup to come from paralyzed teen using robotic suit


Through virtual reality technology, the Walk Again Project has devised a robotic suit to help paralyzed. Video still from The Walk Again Project.

What if a paralyzed person could move their body with a thought?

The Walk Again Project is trying to turn that very idea into a reality. Using a brain-controlled exoskeleton, a paralyzed person would conceivably be able to walk under their own mental power. And if all goes according to plan, the invention would make its international debut during this year’s World Cup in Brazil, when a paralyzed teenager makes the tournament’s first kick.

Video from GE’s YouTube channel.

First reported about in the Washington Post, The Walk Again Project is a nonprofit international collaboration led by Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University. Through advancements in virtual reality technology, a person would wear a headpiece that detects brain waves, while connected to a body suit that would receive signals for motion.

You’ll be able to watch the historic kick this June when the 2014 World Cup begins.

Related: Tech industry looks to robots to tackle problems but finds hurdles on the way

What role does the human touch play in the digital age?

H/T Colleen Shalby