Brain-controlled bionic legs are finally here
ANUM RIAZ AND BEENISH HASSAN
The technology has been advanced so much. Biomedical Engineering Company Össur has announced the successful development of a thought controlled bionic prosthetic (artificial) leg. The new technology uses implanted sensors sending wireless signals to the artificial limb’s built-in computer, enabling subconscious, real-time control and faster, more natural responses and movements.
These are the first amputees to be able to subconsciously control their prosthetic lower limbs. Össur said its technology is the first to use sensory implants to send signals between the muscles and the prosthesis. Previous devices used transplanted muscle tissue, which required the brain to relearn how to control the limb. This works much more quickly.
How it works: Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, an orthopedic surgeon and Össur’s Director of Research and development, says the brain gives impulses directly to the sensor-injected muscles, which then contract in response. The sensors then act as a middle man, sending the brain’s signals to the prosthetic legs, making them do whatever the wearer wants.
Össur’s sensor-equipped bionic limbs include an extremely advanced knee, making it possible for amputees to move over uneven terrain, walk down steps and even stand upright on an incline while bearing a load — something that, without a good, functional knee, is difficult to do.
“The technology allows the user’s experience with their prosthesis to become more intuitive and integrative,” says Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, leader of the mind-controlled prosthetics project. “The result is the instantaneous physical movement of the prosthesis however the amputee intended. They no longer need to think about their movements because their unconscious reflexes are automatically converted into myoelectric impulses that control their Bionic prosthesis.”
“Mind-controlled Bionic prosthetic legs are a remarkable clinical breakthrough in next-generation Bionic technology,” said Jon Sigurdsson, President & CEO of Össur. “By adapting not only to the individual’s intentional movements but to intuitive actions, we are closer than ever to creating prosthetics that are truly integrated with their user.”
The creators of the bionic leg are still working on it to make it further better and to improve its working. This type of mind blowing new research and development in technology will be going to make our life more and more easier.