His voice contains a mix of exhaustion and excitement, the result of 30 years' work, more than 200 scientific papers and countless clinical tests that are nearing a spectacular summit.
Nicolelis started down this path in 1984 when he wrote his doctoral thesis on neural connections in muscular control.
He said the idea for the suit came to him in 2002, when scientists were just beginning to explore robotic exoskeletons.
"In 2009, after we learned Brazil was hosting the World Cup, they asked me for ideas to show Brazil in a different way than the world usually sees it. That's when I suggested doing a scientific demonstration to teach people that Brazil is investing and has human potential to do things beyond football," he said.
Nicolelis said he and a team of some 40 people have barely left the lab since March, when they arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city and economic hub, to finalize preparations.
But it's been rewarding, too, he said, recalling the moment on April 24 when a paralyzed user first took steps in the exoskeleton.