A Brazilian teen will kick off the World Cup Thursday in Sao Paulo.
Nothing spectacular about that except that the teenager is paralyzed from the waist down.
But there’s more. He or she will leave the wheelchair behind and suit up in an exoskeleton that will restore his or her motor skills for the kick that will be seen and heard around the world.
The teenager will wear a special 3D helmet to complete the works. Electronic circuits in the “feet” of the exoskeleton will send return signals to the user via an artificial skin on the arm, conveying the sensation of movement and contact, according to tech news site Techcrunch.
The technology is part of the Walk Again Project at Duke University and will be the first — and biggest — public demonstration of a human controlling a robot with neural signals.
The teenager is anonymous for now but come Thursday, with the world watching, things could change very dramatically indeed.
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