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Inventors in New Zealand have created a pair of bionic legs that could banish the need for wheelchairs.
Auckland-based inventors Richard Little and Robert Irving have been working secretly on the robo legs for seven years. The project was so top secret that even the family of the robo legs paraplegic test pilot, Hayden Allen, were kept in the dark until the launch. During the unveiling Mr Allen was able to walk across a room and shake hands with New Zealand prime minister John Key.
Mr Allen was left paralysed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident. Called REX, short for "robotic exoskeleton", the legs weigh 38 kg (84lb) and are individually made for each user. The first pair is expected to sell for $150,000 (£97,600) the equivalent cost of 20 standard wheelchairs.
The inventors claim that due to the upright and mobile nature of their creation, users will not suffer the burns, scrapes and bladder infections that can come with wheelchair use.