Paraplegic Juliano Pinto kicks-off FIFA World Cup 2014 in mind-controlled exoskeleton suit
As promised a few months ago, the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil saw a very tech savvy start to the event as Juliano Pinto, a 29 year old paraplegic kicked off proceedings. At the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Juliano performed the official kick-off of football’s biggest extravaganza using the mind-controlled exoskeleton suit named as Bra-Santos Dumont (meaning Brazil and Alberto Santos-Dumont), and is developed by a team of researchers led by Brazilian neuroscientist Dr. Miguel Nicolelis.
Juliano’s identity was kept secret until after the event and according to the researchers who made this exoskeleton suit this marks the beginning of technological revolution in medical science and robotics. The project called as the Walk Again Project aims to make life easier for people suffering from paralysis as they could abandon wheelchair and walk again with the same freedom.
A special cap on the patients head catches the brainwave signals and relays the information to the computer in exoskeleton’s backpack which then moves the desired part of the exoskeleton. In this case Juliano was able to move a few steps and then kick-off the official football for this mega event.
But unfortunately experts were disappointed by the media coverage for this ceremony as they believed that it didn’t get the deserved attention by TV networks. Some commentators also criticized ceremony organizers for overshadowing this historic moment for the prodigal performing acts.