Thursday's World Cup action in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will capture the world's attention with its athletic spectacle, but will also feature a fascinating technological innovation. The kickoff for the storied soccer tournament, which is expected to be viewed by billions worldwide, is slated to be made by one of eight paralyzed young adults who have been training for the event in a specially-designed robotic exoskeleton.
New Scientist reports that there is "a phenomenal amount of technology within the exoskeleton, including sensors that feed information about pressure and temperature back to the arms of the user, which still have sensation."
Lead robotic engineer Gordon Cheng, working with a team from the University of Munich, Germany, has developed the means for a skullcap of electrodes to transmit signals from the wearer's brain to a computer interface which then instructs the exoskeleton to kick the ball.
No word on if the machine makes vuvuzela noises upon goal completion.