Prosthetic foot only needs ‘mind control’ for movement


During a press conference in Copenhagen on Wednesday, prosthetics manufacturer Ossur announced the release of an implantable sensor that allows users to mentally control a mechanical limb. The technology, known as an Implanted MyoElectric Sensor (IMES) will allow users to move the company’s motorized Proprio Foot just like they do the real thing.

With an existing analog (or even powered) prosthesis, there’s often an infuriating lag between intention and action because the user has to physically contract a muscle to activate it. Not so with the IMES system. When electrical signals from the user’s brain hit the end of the amputated leg, they’re picked up by a pair of sensors embedded in the surrounding muscle tissue. These sensors, in turn, send a wireless signal to the Proprio foot telling it to flex or extend. And since the muscles themselves aren’t contracting, there’s no lag between thinking about moving and…

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