A team of engineers at Vanderbilt’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics led by Michael Goldfarb, H. Fort Flowers Chair in Mechanical Engineering, has developed a powered exoskeleton that enables people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs. Its lightweight, compact size and modular design promise to provide users with an unprecedented degree of independence. The university has several patents pending on the design, and Parker Hannifin Corporation, a global leader in motion and control technologies, has signed an exclusive licensing agreement to develop a commercial version of the device that it plans to introduce in 2014.

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