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Paraplegic in robotic suit will kick off World Cup

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Paraplegic in robotic suit will kick off World Cup

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jun 12, 2014

The first ceremonial kick of the World Cup in Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena will be made by a paraplegic wearing a mind-controlled bodysuit, an innovative product 30 years in the making. The unidentified kicker will forego his or her wheelchair to complete this unbelievable feat.

"Electronic circuits in the device's 'feet' will send a return signal to the user via an artificial skin worn on the arm, conveying the sensation of movement and contact," reports AFP. "Brazilian doctor Miguel Nicolelis led a team of 156 scientists from around the world to create the futuristic exoskeleton, which was designed to enable paralysis victims to walk."

The first successful walk by a paralyzed individual in the suit came on April 24.

"They named the device the BRA-Santos Dumont, a combination of the three-letter sporting code for Brazil and Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator, inventor and bon vivant who once demonstrated controllable flight was possible by flying his dirigible around the Eiffel Tower," further reports AFP.

An estimated one billion viewers will tune in to watch the World Cup broadcast, in addition to the 65,000 spectators in the stands.


Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.