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January 10, 2013 AT 2:00 am

WREX, a 3D-printed robotic exoskeleton for disabled children #3dthursday

MagicArms

Via The Verge:

Designed to help disabled people with underdeveloped muscles in their arms, the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) attaches to the body and uses a set of resistance bands and metal bars to provide artificial strength. Previously only available as an attachment for wheelchairs, 3D printing technology has made it possible to create a lightweight version using a plastic backplate, allowing users with healthy legs to stand up and walk around.

The video below shows the WREX being used by Emma, a child suffering from a rare congenital disease known as anthrogryposis. Rapid prototyping allows the WREX to scale as she grows, with each individual part being resizable and reprintable. Emma is one of 15 children currently using the WREX, and has already gone through two versions.

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