Man Climbs Willis Tower with Bionic Leg

He climbed to the top in about 45 minutes

Sunday, Nov 4, 2012  |  Updated 5:01 PM CDT
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Amputee Gets Bionic Ankle

AP

In this Oct. 25, 2012 photo, Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, is silhouetted on the Ledge at the Willis Tower in Chicago. Vawter is training for the world's tallest stair-climbing event where he'll attempt to climb 103 flights to the top of theWillis Tower using the new prosthesis. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

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Amputee Gets Bionic Ankle

Randy Earl lost portions of his right arm and leg years ago after a jolt of electricity tore through his body while he working as a lineman with Commonwealth Edison. Marion Brooks reports.
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A 31-year-old amputee has made history, becoming the first person to climb 103 floors of one of the world's tallest skyscrapers with a bionic leg.

Zac Vawter was wearing a prosthetic leg controlled by his mind Sunday when he participated in "SkyRise Chicago." The charity event raises funds for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

The event marked the bionic leg's first test in the public eye.

As Vawter thought about climbing stairs, the motors, chains and belts in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee. Researchers cheered him on and noted the smart leg's performance.

Institute officials say the leg and its climber held up "fantastically."

Vawter finished the climb in about 45 minutes.

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