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Chicago Skyscraper Climbed by Man with Bionic Leg

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Man with bionic leg slimbs skyscraper

Zac Vawter climbs 103 stories on artificial leg. Photo by Brian Kersey/AP

Who needs elevators to reach the 103rd floor of skyscraper when you have a bionic leg? Zac Vawter, a 31 year old amputee accomplished the phenomenal feat. Vawter earned his place in the history books as the first person to climb the 103 floors using a bionic leg.

His spectacular achievement was done as part of “SkyRise Chicago,” on Sunday, a fundraising event that benefits the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

The prosthetic leg he wore was controlled by his mind and marks the first public appearance for the technology. Vawter was able to activate the motors, chains and belts in his mechanical leg in synchronized movements in the ankle and knee simply by thinking about it. The “smart leg” was monitored by researchers as they cheered Vawter on. Its performance was lauded as utterly fantastic.

The climb from ground level to the 103 floor of Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, took roughly 45 minutes. That is approximately 2.28 floors per minute, something many of with both of our natural limbs cannot do.

Technology is making it possible for many like Vawter to lead not only productive lives but athletic ones if they so choose. It makes you wonder just how far we can go when faced with adversity.


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