Man With Bionic Leg To Climb Willis Tower [Video]

A man with a bionic leg is hoping to make medical history this weekend by climbing up all 103 stories of the Willis Tower in Chicago.

Zac Vawter, who lost his leg in 2009 during a motorcycle accident, will climb the Willis Tower this weekend with a bionic leg designed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Vawter said:

“The first time that we went up and down stairs was a little clunky and not particularly smooth. Now I’m comfortable taking a hand off of the railing.”

Lead researcher Levi Hargrove told the Chicago Tribune that the bionic leg responds to “electrical impulses from the muscles in Vawter’s upper leg.”

Hargrove said:

“He just thinks about moving his ankle. He thinks about doing those movements, and the signals travel down the nerves and are redirected onto hamstring muscle. The body doesn’t know that the ankle is not contracting. It is very intuitive for him.”

Hargrove and Vawter will give the bionic leg it’s first major public test this Sunday when Vawter attempts to walk up the stairs of the Willis Tower.

Here’s a video about the Vawter and the bionic leg.

The the U.S. Department of Defense has invested $8 million in the bionic leg project in the hopes of benefiting veterans who have lost legs in combat.

Do you think the bionic leg will make it to the top of the Willis Tower?