Today U.S. President Barack Obama met with Theresa Hannigan from New York, who is sporting a ReWalk bionic suit, at the Israeli technologies exhibition in Jerusalem, Israel. ReWalk exoskeleton was among the cutting-edge Israeli innovations shown to President Barack Obama in the course of his visit to a session hosted by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
ReWalk creator Dr. Amit Goffer, an alumni of the Technion, is actually a quadriplegic who was prompted to develop the exoskeleton system as a result of his own personal account and experience. “It is an honor to have been chosen among many Israeli innovators to present the ReWalk technology to President Obama,” stated Dr. Goffer. “This device is already improving the quality of life for many people and we look forward to seeing its continued expansion around the world including in the US where we are awaiting FDA clearance for daily personal use.”
The technological innovation was demonstrated by Israeli Military Veteran Radi Kaiuf and US Army Veteran Theresa Hannigan, paraplegics who are able to now stand and walk on their own using the ReWalk. Sgt. Hannigan served during the Vietnam period and was left paralyzed 2 yrs ago resulting from a progressive autoimmune disease. “I`m so pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate for President Obama this amazing technology that will benefit the lives of many men and women who have been impacted by spinal cord injuries,” said Sgt. Hannigan, who trains with the ReWalk at the Spinal Cord Damage Research Center at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. “A couple of years ago, doctors told me I would never walk again, but now thanks to this technology I am able to do anything from standing-up and hugging my family to walking a one-mile road race.”
The ReWalk utilizes patented technologies with mechanized legs that power knee and hip motion. It manages movements applying subtle changes in center of gravity, imitates natural walking and provides functional walking speed. A forward lean of the person’s upper body is detected by the system, which activates the initial step. Repeated body shifting produces a string of steps, allowing natural and efficient walking.