Wheelchair user Steven Sanchez uses Suit X, an exoskeleton suit to walk
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How an exoskeleton suit is helping me to walk again

A man who was paralysed from the waist down after he broke his back in a BMX bicycle accident has been testing what is hoped will be the world's lightest and most affordable exoskeleton suit.

The team at University of California, Berkeley's Human Engineering and Robotics Lab recognised that many people were unable to afford access to exoskeletons for physiotherapy.

They began designing an exoskeleton with a pared-down profile and comparatively cheap cost of $40,000 (£27,000).

"The first week that I used this suit, my parents came and I was able to hug them, the first time in I don't even know how long," said Mr Steven Sanchez who has been testing the suit for the last three years.

The creators of the suit emphasise it is not going to replace wheelchairs for its users at present, but it could be a critical tool in physiotherapy sessions and allowing people with paralysis to experience the sensation of walking.

BBC Click's Jen Copestake reports.

BBC Disability Index

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