Bionic legs give TV presenter a chance to walk again

Sophie Morgan is back on her feet again after being paralysed in a car accident at 18, due to a revolutionary set of carbon-fiber robotic legs.

With 29 small computers and 10 motors driving all of the joints, REX Bionics aims to replace human joints and the nervous system with its design.

REX have said the harness is the "world’s first hands-free, self-supporting, independently controlled robotic walking device," and could give hope for paraplegics across the world.

ITV News correspondent Sally Biddulph reports:

With a very simple control set up, the 27-year-old from Brighton - who is paralysed from the chest down - can now transfer herself into the legs quickly due to its sturdiness.

Sophie walks forward in the robotic legs. Credit: ITV News

Spending only half an hour a day in the robotic harness, Sophie aims to increase the use over time to improve the muscles and ligaments in her legs.

Speaking about the challenges of walking again, Sophie said:

Now that the exoskeleton is here, I'm having to learn everything again, what it's like to stand up again and re-imagine my life in a standing position.

It's quite overwhelming.

– Sophie Morgan
The REX control panel used to move the legs. Credit: ITV News

Speaking to ITV News, Sophie said that technology will only get better in the future:

Like all technology it will get smaller, lighter and faster.

In time the dream will be to have the exoskeleton under my jeans so I will not need a wheelchair.

I'll be able to walk around.

– Sophie Morgan

Weighing between 38kg and 48kg engineer Richard Little said that REX is essentially "a set of legs outside the users legs."

Engineer Richard Little talks through the features of REX. Credit: ITV News

TV Presenter Sophie is now ambassador for REX after being flown to Australia and spending a week testing out the exoskeleton.

See how REX changed Sophie's life in the following video by REX: