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Man with bionic leg climbs Chicago skyscraper

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
Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, looks out onto the Ledge at the Willis Tower on Oct. 25 in Chicago. Vawter on Sunday successfully climbed 103 flights to the top of the tower using the new prosthesis. Brian Kersey / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

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.