The World Cup isn’t really something that comes and goes without the whole world noticing, and starting things off with the first kick is a huge honor, but the occasion will be made even more special than it usually is because the first kick will be made by a paralyzed teenager.
The Walk Again Project, a nonprofit collaboration between the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering; Technical University of Munich; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne; Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal in Brazil; University of California at Davis; University of Kentucky; and Regis Kopper of the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment facility, have come together to create a mind-controlled exoskeleton that will enable one lucky teenager to start the World Cup with a brief glimpse into the future of medical care, according to the gang at CNET.
The exoskeleton will support the lower part of the body, with wireless electrodes attached to the teenager’s head. The electrodes will scan brainwaves, which will be used to tell the suit to move.
The paralyzed teen candidate hasn’t been chosen yet, but a pre-approved group of patients have been taught how to operate the exoskeleton, so it will be one of them that the world sees when this special first kick of the World Cup takes place.