Mind-controlled bionic prosthetic legs unveiled by Ossur

A company called Ossur based in Iceland creates some of the most advanced bionic lower limb prosthetic devices available. The lower leg prosthetic devices that the company builds have the ability to sense the phase of the gait of the user and smoothly power the artificial ankle joint to get the foot in the proper alignment for a natural stride. Recently the company announced a new breakthrough in prosthetics that make the lower limb even more natural and lifelike when walking.

Ossur has designed a prosthetic limb in a way that it is able to not only makes those ankle joint movements on predictable terrain, it can also position the foot in response to residual muscle control from the wearer. The breakthrough was made with the help of a pair of amputees and Ossur is saying that the breakthrough is basically subconscious thought control.

With the new design rather than taking commands for foot position from internal or position sensors, the new design responds to myoelectric sensors that are imbedded in the intact calf muscle of the wearer. The sensors that enable this new functionality were supplied by a company based in the US called the Alfred Mann Foundation.

The sensors are powered inductively by a system embedded in the overlying socket that receives the ankle prosthetic. The surgery to implant the required sensors in the calf of the user takes only 15 minutes. According to the company after using the newly implanted sensors in the prosthetic for only a short time, the users could precisely position their joint just as they could their natural foot.

SOURCE: Extremetech