The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-a-kind robotic exoskeleton that can help some paralyzed people walk again, known as the ReWalk system. If you want to make a robot cooler, strap it to yourself!

Robert Woo (L) walks using the ReWalk

Robert Woo (L) walks using the ReWalk

Every kid who’s ever seen a robot on the big or little screens has wanted his or her very own metallic minion.  They’re just awesome, right?  They do what you tell them, and they never complain, and until you say stop or they break down.  So why aren’t they all over the place?

Because, despite their various theatrical portrayals, they really are quite limited yet.  They’re getting better all the time though.  Stronger, smarter, more capable.

The headline at CBS News caught my attention because it was a double wammy: it involved robotics, but also because it’s a medical aid.  I’ve seen my share of life-changing illness, and I’ve been frustrated by the mind-numbing pace at which progress is made.  So, I have to give props – especially to the folks at the FDA, who move with the speed and efficiency of a government run operation – when I see something interesting and beneficial come along.

Read the article for yourself here.