Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

Man to Climb Skyscraper With Bionic Leg

State-of-the-art prosthetic will be tested at Chicago's Willis Tower

A 31-year-old software engineer will attempt to make history on Sunday by climbing 103 flights of stairs in Chicago’s Willis Tower on his state-of-the-art-prosthetic leg. After losing his right leg in a motorcycle accident, Zac Vawter signed up to become a research subject at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, helping to test a new kind of prosthetic controlled by his thoughts. The climb, called the “SkyRise Chicago,” is a fundraising initiative by the Institute and will feature almost 2,700 other climbers. However, researchers will be watching Vawter’s progress the closest. While most prosthetics are what the University of Michigan’s Daniel Ferris calls “fancy wooden legs,” Vawter’s bionic leg responds to electrical impulses in his hamstring, essentially allowing him to control it with his thoughts as he would his natural limbs. The $8 million project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Via The Daily Chronicle

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News