- Zac Vawter, a 31-year-old software engineer from Seattle, Wash., pauses after climbing the stairs to the top of the 103-story Willis Tower using the world's first neural-controlled bionic leg in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 4. According to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, their Center for Bionic Medicine has worked to develop technology that allows amputees like Vawter to better control prosthetics with their own thoughts. Vawter made the climb during the RIC SkyRise Chicago event, a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
- Zac Vawter, who is fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, is silhouetted on the Ledge at the Willis Tower in Chicago. Vawter, who is in training to climb to the top of the tower using the new prosthesis, recently took the elevator to the 103rd floor to see the view after an afternoon of work in the lab.
He will put this groundbreaking "bionic" leg to the ultimate test Sunday when he attempts to climb 103 flights of stairs to the top of Chicago's Willis Tower, one of the world's tallest skyscrapers.
Biomedical engineer Annie Simon, left, and research prosthetist Elizabeth Halsne fit an experimental "bionic" prosthetic leg on Zac Vawter at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.Dr. Levi Hargrove, lead researcher for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Bionic Medicine, holds an experimental 'bionic' prosthetic leg.Physical therapist assistant Suzanne Finucane, right, helps Zac Vawter as he practices walking at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.