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UC Berkeley Student Uses Assistive Technology To Walk at Graduation

Graduating  UC Berkeley Senior Austin Whitney , a paraplegic since 2007, used a controller switch on a walker to direct the exoskeleton strapped around his legs to move forward at the May Commencement.  

“It was overpowering,” said Whitney, who was the last graduate in the procession. “I’ve stood in the [exoskeleton] machine a lot of times before, but I knew that it would be different up here [on stage], and it truly was.”

Whitney’s extraordinary walk has been in the works since last fall, when he connected with Homayoon Kazerooni and his team of researchers. UC Berkeley engineers have been creating exoskeletons, a type of wearable robotic, to improve the mobility of individuals with paraplegia.

Whitney said that he hopes today’s success will provide hope to other paraplegics that in their lifetime, they will see affordable machines that can help them regain some of their mobility.

For the full article, see: Student Uses Exoskeleton to Walk at Graduation

Video produced by Roxanne Makasdjian, Media Relations


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