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Top 5 Futuristic Mind-Controlled Prosthetics

The world of Prosthetics is developing quicker by the year. Doctors, Engineers and students are all striving to design more effective artificial limbs that can help amputees and sufferers of paralysis live not only more comfortably but also to thrive. Today we're looking at the top five Bionic Prosthetics that look like they're from the future.

Open Bionics Hero Arm


The Hero Arm by startup company Open Bionics is the world's first medically approved 3D printed Bionic Arm. This prosthetic of the future is controlled by the user's own muscles giving them an unrivaled lifelike sensation. The technology works through a number of sensors housed within the Bionic arms socket. The highly sensitive sensors detect muscle movements and trigger the hand to respond accordingly.

The Bionic hand and fingers of the prosthetic are controlled using the same muscles as a biological hand so learning how to use the device is incredibly straightforward which is very important for any amputee rehabilitation process. Each Hero arm is entirely bespoke the user's arms are scanned to create a perfect 3D printed socket providing a comfortable fit that also increases usability.

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The Hero arm comes in three different hand sizes and two different Arm layouts making them suitable for all ages and sizes intended for everyday use. The hero not only gives users the ability to hold objects such as food, tools, utensils and pens but also allows them to get dressed easily, open doors and even type on a keyboard; all essential for boosting independence.

It should be noted that the manufacturer advises against using the Bionic arm in potentially high risk situations in case it fails or the battery dies. This includes driving any form of contact or extreme sport and also using a firearm. The hero arm has some amazing features and tons of personalization options but those aren't the only reasons why it's set to become the future of Prosthetics.

The hero arm starts at just $3000 which might sound like a lot of money however comparative prosthetic arms with similar features can often cost skyward of fifty thousand dollars and even as high as one hundred thousand. Open Bionics can also fit print and deliver a tailor-made arm in around 40 hours, far quicker than any other company.

University of Utah's Bionic Leg


When thinking about prosthetic legs you might picture a pair of running blades or a metal pole attached to a trainer but times are changing and Prosthetics are evolving the university of Utah's Bionic research team is at the forefront of prosthetic development and their latest Bionic leg is by far their most advanced to date technology that allows users to control their Prosthetics with exaggerated body movements have been around for quite some time and even mind control devices are starting to crop up here and there but the university of Utah is taking a completely different approach. What if Prosthetics could think for themselves! Robotic and AI technology are moving at an alarming rate so why not implement that technology into amputee Prosthetics as well. Dr Lenzi who leads the team set out to make two major fundamental changes.

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First to create a powered prosthetic that is lighter and stronger than a biological human leg and Second to develop a leg that can think for itself and knows how to move naturally in any given situation. The results are staggering and users are astonished by how different this new prosthetic operates compared to anything else currently available.

Dr Lenzi's theory is that AI-powered Prosthetics feel more effortless than those controlled consciously making them far easier to adapt to the Bionic leg allows users to move around more naturally when doing everyday tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs, stepping up a curb, even standing up from a chair and this is just the start although Dr Lenzi's Bionic leg is still in the early stages.

The development of the technology is still promising being lighter and more powerful than a biological leg means that this robotic limb could provide users with abilities not available to regular able-bodied people. Robotic Prosthetics such as these could turn those previously considered to be disabled people into amplified Bionic Humans.

Mr Burkhart's Brain Implant


Meet Ian Burkhart a quadriplegic that after a freak accident became paralyzed from the shoulders down. Five years after his injury now aged 24 Ian Burkhart has regained control over his right hand and fingers thanks to a new technology that can transmit thoughts directly to his muscles bypassing his spinal injury entirely by implanting a small chip into his brain and connecting him to a computer. Ian was able to learn simple movements through multiple sessions of thought repetition by focusing his thoughts and through Doctor analysis Ian was eventually able to do tasks such as pour water from a bottle, pick up a straw and even play Guitar!

Getting to this level of movement took over a year of continual learning and countless sessions but progress is now speeding up the system works somewhat like AI except Ian's brain is doing the teaching. When Ian thinks a thought such as opening his hand, neurons fire that command off in his head but because of the spinal injury the signals can't make it down to his hands to perform the movement.

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The implanted chip picks up on these Neurons and sends the information to the computer. Through repetition and visual learning the computer learns that certain thought patterns mean specific things such as opening and closing Ian's hand. Once the computer understands Ian's messages, it can send the command to another device attached to his hand triggering the hand muscles to move while this technology is not exactly a Bionic prosthetic. It does allow paraplegics to regain control over their previously dormant limbs as it stands the technology is only capable of very simple movements and tasks but in the years to come people such as Ian may be able to regain control over their entire arms and legs and may even be able to walk again.

Ossur's Mind Control Bionic Prosthetics


While there were a small number of companies developing mind control Bionic Prosthetics, Ossurs the global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics was the very first back in 2015. Ossur provided two amputees with the first prosthetic legs that could be controlled with thought alone and their technology has been getting smarter ever since. Bionic Prosthetics typically require a certain level of conscious input or intentional thought by the user however Ossur's smart limbs are capable of doing all the thinking themselves through real-time learning. The smart Bionic legs can adjust to their users walking style, speed and terrain making for a natural and intuitive user experience.

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The technology works by picking up on natural movement signals and replicating how the body translates electrical impulses into specific muscle movements. Electronic impulses from the brain are received by sensors embedded in the existing muscle tissue which then translates said signals into the appropriate Bionic limb movements, The process is instantaneous resulting in seamless and perfect physical movement of the prosthetic. End user through the use of Ossurs technology users no longer need to adjust their equipment on the go or put up with the chronic injuries associated with traditional Prosthetics that are unable to adapt.

Bio-Adapt Performance Prosthetics


Okay this prosthetic might not be robotic mind-controlled or work with AI but it was still far too innovative to leave out of today's Post. Bioadapt designs and manufactures high performance lower limb Prosthetics for action sports and similar activities Bioadapt's goal is to not only get amputees moving again but also to have them moving freely and enjoying life to the fullest without limitations. Their amazing Prosthetics can be and are used by many elite athletes competing at the highest level as well as people who simply want a quality limb solution that allows them to enjoy a range of activities. Professional snowmobile racer Mike Shorts started the company after losing his leg above the knee in an accident back in 2008.

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After recovery and rehabilitation he quickly found out that there were no Prosthetics available on the market that allowed him to ride and race as he did pre-amputation. So he decided to build one himself with a wealth of fabrication knowledge, suspension tuning, experience and unwillingness to compromise; Mike created the first prototype version of Bioadapt's commercially available prosthetic named the “Moto Knee”. This prosthetic looks like a motorcycle part in its own right with fully adjustable shocks, air springs and a unique linkage system. The device gives users a uniquely natural and dynamic feeling that is difficult to replicate. Bioadapt also offers a foot and ankle prosthetic that can be used in partnership with the Moto me.

Mike has gone on to win multiple ESPN X games medals while using his prosthetic leg and a number of other athletes have also followed in his gold winning prosthetic footsteps.

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