An exoskeleton designed to mimic old age gives its wearer ailments such as glaucoma and arthritis. Edward Baran reports.
With just the push of a button, this perfectly healthy 34-year-old man is transformed into an 85-year-old with cataracts, glaucoma and tinnitus. The volunteer donned this computer-controlled exoskeleton that can be remotely manipulated to debilitate joints, vision and hearing, Goggles leave him with only peripheral vision to mimic macular degeneration and the suit's joints are adjusted to simulate rheumatoid arthritis. In the end, he was left struggling to walk and his heart raced from 81 beats per minute to 100. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UGO DUMONT, VOLUNTEER TRYING EXOSKELETON FROM NEW YORK, SAYING: "It was extremely challenging I have to say. I am 34 and I am in an okay shape, and still for me to wear for 15, 20 minutes was really challenging." The suit was designed to allow visitirs to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey to experience first-hand the effects of ageing. Its makers say they hope it'll mean those who try it out walk away with a sense of empathy and awareness for older people.