After a skiing accident, Amanda Boxtel was left with no sensation or movement below her pelvis, and for the past 22 years, she has been wheelchair-bound. Recently, however, Amanda has (quite literally) taken steps to improve her mobility. Through close work with two technology companies, Amanda has become the inadvertent spokesperson for a new era of bionic technology. 3D Systems and Ekso-Bionics teamed up to help Amanda get a 3D printed and articulating exo-suit custom fitted to her own body, that enables Amanda to stand and walk unassisted.
In a newly released video, Amanda shares her personal views of the meaning of the neuro-prosthetic suit. “For the first time I feel as if the exoskeleton is truly one with me,” she says on the video. “It’s as if it was an extension of my body.”
In her view, bionic exo-suits will not only give paralyzed individuals the opportunity to reclaim freedom of movement, but will evolve into an art form that is built from each individual’s personal blueprint.