GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Progress is being made to help those who rely on a wheelchair to get around.
DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Grand Rapids is testing a new device called "Ekso" which is a wearable exo-skeleton or robot.
Paul Thacker is a strong supporter of this new device and travels around to different conferences to promote the technology. He demonstrated how it works when strapped to his body and has used it about 15 times this year. He is paralyzed from the waist down from a snowmobiling accident in 2010.
When questioned about the possibility of having his own personal "Ekso" device at home, Thacker explained that he is already impressed with how fast technology has improved since last year. He says he misses the little things like pulling a glass out of his cupboard or standing eye to eye when talking to someone.
"Any time there is technology coming that is going to improve your quality of life as far as a paraplegic, that's exciting. I would be stoked to have this kind of thing at my house," said Thacker.
By late 2014, the goal of Ekso Bionics is to provide these Ekso devices for in home use. Currently there are ten locations nationwide testing out these robot like devices with patients.