Amputee Rider Uses Brain to Control His New Robotic Leg

A huge step forward in prosthetics was made as the first rewired-nerves brain-controlled robotic leg was tested on a 32-year-old rider who had one of his limbs amputated after a motorcycle accident.
Brain-Controlled Robotic Leg 1 photo
The team who achieved this stunning performance is led by biomedical engineer Levi Hargrove from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, IL.

The robotic leg is controlled by neural signals which trigger specific movements in the ankle and knee joints. As you can see for yourselves, the movement of the prosthetic leg is extremely similar to that of a human one, and the rider can effortlessly tread up and down a ramp or stairs.

A huge improvement was achieved over traditional switch or muscle-controller artificial limbs: the man no longer needs to reposition his leg using his hands when seated.

Scientists actually re-wired several of the rider's nerves which were used to control movements in his lower leg and interfaced them with the robotic prosthetic using a technique called targeted muscle reinnervation.

Electrical pulses from the reinnervated muscle contractions and the existing healthy thigh muscles have been combined and resulted in a more accurate response and precise movement than ever before.

The technology is to be developed further into the future, with the scientists believing it could become available for people with missing limbs in the next three to five years. Since we're dealing with an experimental prototype, there is no word on pricing.

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