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CSU has role for historic project demonstration during World Cup opening ceremony

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State University will have a role in the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Brazil on Thursday.

A paralyzed Brazilian, wearing a mechanical bodysuit, is expected to stand out of his wheelchair, walk to a soccer ball and kick it, being aided only by the prosthetic exoskeleton he controls with his brain waves.

It's part of the Walk Again Project and it would mark the first time a paralyzed person will walk on his own under such circumstances.

And it was CSU's Idea-2-Product 3D printing laboratory that developed the protective liner to be worn by the paralyzed individual. The liner fits between the electrode cap and a safety helmet. The electrodes detect the brain signals and transmit the message to the exoskeleton.

“It’s important those electrodes stay in place and we also need to protect the patient,” said Alan Rudolph, CSU’s vice president of research and project manager of the Walk Again demonstration.

“We designed the liner from scratch using precise 3D scans of the patient and the helmet,” said David Prawel, director of CSU’s public access Idea-2-Product Laboratory.

The demonstration will happen during the 25-minute opening ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m. MDT on ESPN. The first game, Brazil against Croatia, is at 2 p.m. at Sao Paulo.