Look, It's a Real Life Bionic Man!
A New Zealand company called Rex Bionics has created a robotic device that allows people in wheelchairs to walk, sit, stand, and go up steps. And it doesn't even cost $6 million dollars like the man on TV! Here's video:
The Rex machine costs about $160,000 and has to be individually manufactured for each user. Check out how New Zealand mechanic Hayden Allen uses the machine. It's controlled by a joystick (much like an electric wheelchair) and powered by a rechargeable battery.
Initial testing of the product has been successful and Rex reports it's going to start selling them in New Zealand later this year—and around the world in 2011—after it does some more fine tuning and has a chance to track how people use and react to the machine at home. No, users can't jump over walls in one leap or make a crazy "wha-wha-wha-wha" sound or anything. But it's still really cool (not to mention a great thing for disabled people, too).