"We made the decision (..) to have at least two per department. The funding (from the State, editor's note) has already been decided, it will be deployed from July", declared the president, accompanied of his wife Brigitte and four ministers, during a visit to the Station Debout walking center which has a copy of this equipment in Paris.

This is a robot that envelops the legs, pelvis and chest and helps paraplegics to reproduce the movement of walking, without a cane or crutch.

The Head of State attended a demonstration of an exoskeleton on a soldier from the 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment of Tarbes, 22 years old and paraplegic since he jumped on a mine in Mali.

The equipment will initially be deployed in departmental medical and rehabilitation centers (SMR), with the aim of eventually extending its use to outpatient care as well.

It will also be deployed within the Armed Forces Health Service, which currently only has one copy in its functional rehabilitation structure at the Invalides, announced Emmanuel Macron,

Wandercraft, the French start-up designer of the model presented to the president, has a factory project which must be financed within the framework of the France 2030 plan.

Emmanuel Macron was also presented with a rowing machine which allows, thanks to electrostimulations, to reconstitute muscular capacities, in particular following accidents, as well as a treadmill in virtual reality.

President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron attend a rowing machine demonstration at the Station Debout walking center on January 26, 2023 in Paris © Yoan VALAT / POOL/AFP

Professor Pierre-François Pradat, president of the Institute for Research on the Spinal Cord and the Brain (IRME), pleaded for the reimbursement of these costs covered by Social Security.

“The exoskeleton allows plasticities of the nervous system. It reproduces the walking pattern (..) There is also an essential prevention aspect against osteoporosis, etc.,” he observed.

© 2023 AFP