Amputee Scales 103-Story Building With Bionic Leg

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Nov. 5 2012 1:43 PM

Amputee Scales 103-Story Building With Bionic Leg

Zac Vawter has become the first amputee to scale the 103-story Willis Tower in Chicago, with the help of a mind-controlled bionic leg.

Vawter, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, suited up with the 10-pound, two-engine limb designed to respond to electrical impulses from his muscles.

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Vawter completed his climb in 53 minutes, 9 seconds, part of a charity event that included dozens of related climbs by fellow amputees. Researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute were thrilled with the test, since it involved much more extreme conditions than the bionic limbs would usually face. Vawter also seemed pleased, though he rightfully took a little credit for himself: “The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part,” he told reporters.

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