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Paralyzed Teen To Kick First 2014 World Cup Ball Using An Exoskeleton

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off next month in Brazil. Countless fans will make the journey to watch their favorite teams play at the venues while millions of people around the world will tune into the action. The opening ceremony will likely be worth watching but this time around people will also get to witness a demonstration of an exoskeleton being controlled by a human through neural signals.

A paralyzed, non-ambulatory Brazilian teenager is expected to stand up and kick the first ball at the 2014 World Cup provided that everything goes according to plan. A motorized exoskeleton will aid the teen who will control it through a special 3D-printed helmet.

The exoskeleton has been created by an international team of engineers and designers. It was first announced back in January and since then work has been underway to get the exoskeleton ready for June in time for the kick off. At Duke University it is called the Walk Again Project. This will actually be the first large scale public demonstration of a robot being controlled with neural signals.

A 3D printer is being used to create the helmet with a soft structure that can keep the electrodes in place while the exoskeleton is in motion. The teen will be provided training in a VR environment to ensure that they’re well accustomed to the entire setup prior to what will surely be a historical moment.

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