Amanda Boxtel is a remarkable woman. In 1992, a skiing accident shattered four of her vertebrae resulting in a permanent spinal cord injury, immobilizing her from the pelvis down. After her injury, through sheer will and determination, she pursued her love of skiing by teaching skiing to others, while sitting down! While adaptive sports equipment has helped her to live a rich and adventurous lifestyle, nothing enabled her to walk again until the invention of a bionic exoskeleton suit. The wearable technology provides a means to advance human mobility beyond wheelchairs and unpowered orthotics and mobilizes those unable to walk unassisted. As the world’s first exoskeleton recipient, Amanda serves as the founding Executive Director for Bridging Bionics Foundation, demonstrating how bionic technology changes lives. In November 2013, she displayed the first partially 3D printed exoskeleton in the world for Singularity University’s European Summit in Budapest, Hungary, and then again in July 2014 at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. She continues to appear at venues globally displaying her robotic suit, remarkable abilities, and competitive spirit.
Amanda’s achievements include serving for 10 years as a professional ski instructor for Aspen Skiing Company; being named the Colorado Ski Country USA Adaptive Athlete of the Year in 1999; carrying the Olympic Torch in 2002 on her mono-ski; orchestrating the first disability whitewater rafting trip down the Grand Canyon, and co-founding the Challenge Aspen, which has grown into a successful non-profit organization. She is a dynamic speaker she who has shared the stage with Deepak Chopra, Les Brown, President Jimmy Carter, and Olympic athlete Florence Griffith-Joyner. Amanda has been a featured as a speaker at numerous conferences and venues around the world including several TED talks. In her spare time, and when she’s not walking in her wearable robot, Amanda enjoys writing, painting, drawing, and taking care of her adorable Golden Retriver Benson.