In 1992, Amanda Boxtel was paralyzed from the waist down in a skiing accident. Now, for the first time in 22 years, she can walk again with a three-dimensional printed robotic exoskeleton that has been molded to her body perfectly, CNET reports.
The breathable device was custom built for her using scanning technologies from 3D Systems. After designers digitized the curves of her spine, thighs, and shins, they combined the suit with actuators and controls made by EksoBionics.
"When the robot becomes the enabling device to take every step for the rest of your life," said Scott Summit, senior director for functional design at 3D Systems, of Boxtel and her exoskeleton, "the connection between the body and the robot is everything. So our goal is to enhance the quality of that connection so the robot becomes more symbiotic."