A Miracle at the World Cup – and a vision of the future

At tonight’s Football World Cup opening ceremony a minor miracle will occur when the opening game between Brazil and Croatia is started by a young man kicking a football. It doesn’t sound miraculous until you hear that this young teenager is actually a paraplegic who has never walked.

This feat will be made possible by a custom built robotic exoskeleton that will allow this young boy to stand upright and walk. The motion will be controlled by sensors linked to his brain, and held in place by a 3d printed helmet that is fit especially to his head.

This specific technology is being pioneered by Duke University’s “Walk Again” project. What a remarkable world we live in that paralysed people may soon walk again, the blind might soon see and the deaf are already beginning to hear again. This is all thanks to remarkable advances linked to robotics and the internet of things. We’re going to see this sort of thing over and over again in the next few years as companies like Google and Apple turn their attentions on the medical and robotics industries. Be ready for miracles!

Read more in this Washington Post article or watch the Duke University YouTube video below.

Update: It did happen during the opening ceremony: here’s the story.

Walk Again

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