Vanderbilt University is the fertile ground for great minds that resulted in the construction of a new lower-limb prosthetic which enables amputees to walk without experiencing any of the leg-dragging gait characteristic that is found in conventional artificial legs. The device will rely on the latest advances in computer, sensor, electric motor and battery technology to deliver bionic capabilities. Basically, this is the first prosthetic that sport powered knee and ankle joints which will operate in unison.
Sporting sensors that can monitor one’s motion, microprocessors have been pre-programmed to rely on relevant data to predict what one person is trying to do, while operating the device in manner that will facilitate these movements. According to Craig Hutto, “When it’s working, it’s totally different from my current prosthetic. A passive leg is always a step behind me. The Vanderbilt leg is only a split-second behind.”
It has taken a good seven years’ worth of research at the Vanderbilt Center to develop. Meant for daily life, it is a whole lot easier for an amputee to walk, sit, stand, and go up and down stairs and ramps – basically doing what any able-bodied person is able to do with aplomb.
Perhaps Mercedes might want to look into sponsoring someone with the Vanderbilt prosthesis if they wrote them a really, really nice letter?
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