Although still in the testing phase, Zac Vawter, a software engineer who lives in the Seattle area, has received a bionic leg that he can control using his thoughts.
The researchers rewired Vawter, redirecting two of the critical severed nerves into his hamstring, the muscle at the back of the leg. When he thinks about moving his knee or ankle, those nerves still fire, releasing a tiny burst of electricity.
Sensors taped on to the legs capture the signals. That data is added to a pattern-detection computer system that takes information from the robotic leg to predict the patients intended movement. While the researchers expected the additional information to make the leg operate more smoothly, the magnitude of the benefit was unexpected, they wrote in the New England Journal. Many errors werent even noticeable.
The researchers measured nine muscles in the leg and analyzed the activities that were most important for regular function, Hargrove said. When Vawter performs any of those activities, the computer program predicts what he is doing.
|Signs of the Near Future|
|Oyster: Netflix for Books|
|"10 innovations that are radical enough to alter our lives."|
|Documentary on Technological Unemployment|
|“If you could decide today... how long do you want to live?”|
|“It’s taking orders for a real-life flying motorcycle powered by five modified jet engines.”|
|“Without ads, how does Netflix manage to make money?”|
|What Nothing Really Means in Seinfeld|
|“By day, she visits morgues, observes autopsies, and studies pictures of crime scenes.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“How easy it is for anyone who tracks our digital activities to gain insight into our personalities.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Where Drones Bark|
|“A chain of endlessly recommended YouTube videos made by strangers motivated by advertising dollars.”|
|There Are Plastic Islands in the Pacific Ocean You Can Walk On|
|Fake Name Generator|