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.
|Clay: Keyless, Wireless Cloud-Based Locking Solution|
|Robots Make Another Victim: Sport Journalists|
|“How Automation Will Transform Everything”|
|Technology is the Heroin of Our Internet Generation|
|“What life is like on the front lines of the digital revolution.”|
|“How to build a house.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|Humans Need Not Apply|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“It is full of hallucinations both wonderful and terrifying, a mental goulash of reality and fantasy.”|
|A Really Fast Electric Skateboard|
|“Instead of consuming fossil fuels, it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.”|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|"Acting better than Star Trek deserves."|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|