The first bionic prosthetic leg that can be controlled by neurosignals from the amputee’s brain has been tested on a 32 year old man who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.
The first bionic prosthetic leg that can be controlled by neurosignals from the amputee’s brain has been tested on a 32 year old man who lost his lower leg in a motorcycle accident.
Scientists from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, or RIC designed and fitted the motorized bionic prosthetic leg.
It is controlled by brain signals sent down the user’s spinal cord to the nerves in his upper leg, which in turn activate electrodes in the prosthetic to make the leg move.
Bionic arms that can be controlled by the amputees’ thoughts have been available as a prosthesis for some time, but this is the first prosthetic leg to use this kind of technology.
The team from RIC, using an 8 million dollar research fund from the United States Army Telemedicine and Advnced Technology Research Center, has come up with the most sophisticated mechanical software for bionic legs.
It allows users of the prosthetic to move their knee and ankle naturally, including being able to climb up and down stairs without dragging the weight of their prosthetic leg behind them.
The leg is still in the prototype stage, as the scientists work on the technicalities, and try to minimize software error rates.