Exploring the intersection where humans & technology collide

Up to this point in history, it has proven to be impossible to find a cure for paralysis. But history is filled with accounts of the impossible made possible through human endeavour. The kind of human endeavour that took explorers to the South Pole at the start of the last century. And, the kind of human endeavour that will take adventurers to Mars in the early part of this century.

Inspired by those stories of exploration Mark Pollock starting asking, “Why can’t that same human endeavor cure paralysis in our lifetime?” Now, he believes it can as he explores the intersection where humans and technology collide.


Take a look at some of Mark’s key milestones to date, as we explore the intersection where humans and technology collide.

Exploration milestones


Resolving The Tension Between Acceptance & Hope At TED2018

Mark and his fiancée, human rights lawyer  Simone George, spoke at TED2018 in Vancouver about how to resolve the tension between acceptance and hope, something they had to try and figure out in the aftermath of Mark’s catastrophic spinal cord injury.

Amy Cuddy, whose TED talk about power posing earned her worldwide recognition and has over 47 million views, described Simone and Mark’s talk as “the most powerful, moving talk I have ever seen at TED” while TED curator Helen Walters described their talk as a “love letter to science”.

Watch TED Talk


Exoskeleton Access Programme

Photo of woman walking in exoskeleton with 2 walkers in DCU

Mark launched an Exoskeleton Access Programme at Dublin City University to provide universal access to Ekso Bionics robotic legs for paralysed people, stroke patients, those with MS and other neurological conditions for a nominal fee.



When Humans & Technology Collide

Mark Pollock and Jonjo Bright discuss the impact of walking in Ekso Bionics robotic legs on BBC television news.


A 50 Subject Spinal Excitability Study

Trinity College Dublin complete a spinal cord excitability study in a group of 25 healthy subjects and 25 paralysed subjects to gather baseline data to feed into more complex research studies with multiple technologies. 

A picture of a set of Ekso Bionics robotic legs placed on a bench


Research Partnership with Microsoft & 2 Universities

We begin working with Microsoft on a series of data and cloud computing projects alongside students at Imperial College London and University College London.


Exploring the space between skeleton and skin

As part of our ongoing research using trans-cutaneous spinal stimulation, Mark stood independently. The moment was captured in an award winning radio documentary featured on Newstalk’s Future Proof. Listen to the Futureproof documentary


Expecting Problems as We Explore Possibilities at TEDx Hollywood

Mark explains how he worked with UCLA’s Reggie Edgerton, the world’s leading authority on electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, to become the first person in the world with chronic complete paralysis to regain enough voluntary control to actively take steps in a robotic exoskeleton while having his spinal cord electrically stimulated.


Stimulating Voluntary Movement at UCLA

Professor Yury Gerasimenko of the Pavlov Institute electrically stimulates Mark’s spinal cord during some baseline testing at UCLA. And, for the first time since his accident 3 years earlier, Mark voluntarily pulled his knee to his chest.


Stress testing the early designs of Ekso Bionics robotic legs

After walking for the first time in 2012, Mark goes on to become the world’s leading test pilot of Ekso Bionics robotic legs. And, during the early years of walking, Mark works with the Ekso Bionics team to stress test components for the next generation Ekso GT.



Promoting Neuro-Plasticity

Mark explores the potential of promoting neuro-plasticity in his nervous system by following a daily aggressive physical therapy programme in the US. And, with the support of his former South Pole teammate, Simon O’Donnell, they continued the training back in Ireland.