Meet Claire Lomas, a 32-year old woman who, despite being paralyzed from the chest down, just completed the 2012 London Marathon. It took her 16 days, and she did it with the help of the ReWalk suit, making her the first person ever to complete a marathon while wearing a bionic suit.
With the ReWalk, Lomas was able to stand, walk, and climb stairs, using a pair of crutches and a set of wrist strap buttons that determine her movement. The exoskeleton's motion sensors and onboard computer system are used to detect shifts in weight and balance, which trigger movements in its lower limbs. These movements are executed by small motors, and the entire system is powered by a four-pound battery stored in a user's backpack.
Lomas completed to marathon to raise awareness for her charity. Already, she has raised more than $129,000.
"There were times when I questioned whether I would make it when I was training," Lomas told AFP. "Once I started, I just took each day as it came and every step got me a step closer."
"When Zetzer reached mile 12 of the Big Sur International Marathon on Sunday, having climbed 550 feet in two wind-blown miles up to the iconic landmark, her boyfriend Liam Brett stepped to the side (ostensibly for a photo), got down on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and proposed."