Interview with Eythor Bender & Amanda Boxtel, “Merging Technology and the Human Body”

A little about their story…

More than anything else, Eythor Bender is a team builder. You want to be on his team. Today and as CEO of Berkeley Bionics – developer and maker of wearable robots – Eythor is leading his company’s charge to boost everyone’s potential through personal bionics.

Since sustaining a permanent spinal-cord injury nineteen years ago, Amanda Boxtel has evolved into a passionate and dynamic inspirational speaker. In July, 2010 Amanda was the first paraplegic woman in the world to test pilot Berkeley Bionics’ eLEGS (Exoskeleton Lower Extremity Gait System).

Eythor talks about finding Amanda, phoning her to introduce eLEGS and “a week later she was standing in front of the camera, walking in new legs, proudly.”

AB: I felt like I hit the jackpot. When Eythor placed that phone call to me and I heard what the eLEGS were about and he described the exoskeleton it was almost as if my wildest imaginings were burgeoning to life and I was able to live out the dream of walking out in a natural gait in a robot. I couldn’t believe it.

I haven’t walked for nineteen years. I was paralyzed in 1992 from a freak skiing accident. After the accident nothing has been invented that enabled me to learn how to walk again until now. It’s quite a stunning thing, and euphoric, I’m upright in the fullness of my 5’7’ frame. It’s the most fantastic thing.

TEDxSF: How do you live your best life?

EB: One of the things I am really excited about in life is bringing to people a technology like eLEGS, something that’s not been done before. We’re doin’ this in the Bay area, in San Francisco, where the bionic technologies are rising uniquely. Its such a fantastic place to be inventing technologies like this and working with people like Amanda and medical centers to bring it to the hands and feet of as many people as possible.

AB: That’s a profound question for me. We share a common passion to help people overcome their limitations. I’ll always have this indelible desire to give back and to work with Eythor and Berkeley Bionics to take this technology from conception and really birth it. We’re talking about the excitement of this Alive conference and how to live maximally in a human body. For me, it is to keep my body moving; to continue to be hopeful, to dream. And eLEGS makes hope real for people across the globe. Dreams are no longer dreams but a reality and with bionic technology anything is truly possible. And now to keep my body upright and moving in the most natural gait possible and it’s an exoskeleton that’s enabling me to do it!

Listen to the full interview below:

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One Response to Interview with Eythor Bender & Amanda Boxtel, “Merging Technology and the Human Body”

  1. sesli sohbet says:

    I truly enjoyed this article. Make sure you keep up the good work. Thanks a lot.

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