writes to note that the FDA "has approved a powered lower-limb exoskeleton
created by a team of Vanderbilt engineers and commercialized by the Parker Hannifin Corporation for both clinical and personal use in the United States." Indego, which allows people paralyzed below the waist to stand up and walk
, is the result of an intensive, 10-year effort. The initial development was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
. The device acts like an external skeleton as it straps in tightly around the torso. Rigid supports are strapped to the legs and extend from the hip to the knee and from the knee to the foot. The hip and knee joints are driven by computer-controlled electric motors powered by advanced batteries. The device operates a lot like a Segway with legs and the minimalist design allows users to take it on and off while sitting in a wheelchair. Indego's clearance came after completion of the largest exoskeleton clinical trial conducted in the United States. It has been available in Europe since November, when it received the CE Mark, the European Union's equivalent of FDA approval. The initial price is $80,000.