Thursday, September 26, 2013

The world’s first mind-controlled robotic leg is ready for prime time

io9 describes The world’s first mind-controlled robotic leg.

"Until now, the only thought-controlled prosthetics available to amputees were bionic arms. But the new leg will soon be available to the more than one million Americans with leg amputations. It was developed by lead scientist Levi Hargrove at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

The leg’s movements are controlled by a person’s original nerves, which are redirected to a small area of the thigh muscle. When these redirected nerves instruct the muscles to contract, sensors on the amputee’s leg detect tiny electrical signals from the muscles. These signals are then analyzed by a specially-designed computer program which instantaneously decodes the type of movement the patient is trying to perform (like moving the knee or ankle). It then sends these commands to the robotic leg."

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