Do you feel that life imitates art at times? Perhaps, and when it comes to the realm of science fiction, what we see in a futuristic movie like Minority Report and its touchscreen user interface has already made its way to the real world. Scientists over at CMU, Harvard, the University of Southern California, MIT, and BioSensics have worked together to come up with a robotic ankle which is capable of assisting those who suffer from injuries or illnesses that have affected their lower legs in a negative manner.
This particular robotic ankle device will be made out of soft materials, which would mean it is different from existing exoskeletons. The thing that makes it outstanding would be the artificial muscles within being a series of pneumatic tubes which have been configured to function like real muscles, meaning they will expand and contract accordingly as sensors above the knee tell them just what to do, depending on the motion in which the person wearing the device is going in. In a nutshell, you end up with a robotic ankle that creates a natural motion in the ankle, helping one obtain a natural walking gait all the while conditioning the actual muscles underneath. [Press Release]