Four years after becoming quadriplegic (one who cannot move the upper or lower members) by falling from a height of 15 metres, Frenchman Thibault (last name undisclosed) was able to move his arms and walk with the help of an exoskeleton – an external skeleton. The equipment, which is still in testing phase, works by receiving brain commands sent through devices that are implanted in the user’s brain.

The technology was developed by the center of French research Clinatec in partnership with the University of Grenoble in France. An article with the results was published in the scientific magazine The Lancet Neurology on October 3rd.

After receiving the implants, Thibault went through two years of training: he used the brain commands to control a virtual character.  Only afterwards the patient moved on to tests with the exoskeleton which weighs 65 kilos. The equipment remained connected to the ceiling to prevent accidents.

According to Thibault’s statements, taking the first steps with the device made him feel as if he was the first man on the moon. According to scientists in the study, the novelty still needs to undergo several improvements so it can be used outside of the lab.

World Cup 2014 Exoskeleton
Five years ago, an exoskeleton was presented at the opening of the World Cup in Brazil. Developed by Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian scientist, the equipment helped a paraplegic man who could not move his lower torso and members, kick a ball. The model did not have brain implants.

Questions

1) What did the patient have to do after he had brain implants?
a) He had to spend two years getting used to the weight of the exoskeleton.
b) He had to take several medications to control his headache.
c) He had surgery to connect the exoskeleton to his body.
d) He had to go through two years of training controlling a virtual character.

2) In what other kind of research should investments be made to help quadriplegic people?

Enquete

Qual é o acontecimento mais esperado de 2020?

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