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MIT Media Lab member and double amputee Dr. Hugh Herr founded the prosthetics company iWalk in 2006. iWalk's BiOM, pictured above, is advertised as the world's first a bionic ankle system. The prosthetic uses battery-powered robotics to mimic the function of the missing calf muscles and Achilles tendon. (image courtesy of iWalk)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
The BiOM reflexively responds to its wearer's natural walking motions in each phase of their gait. It adds robotic muscle power as they push off from their toes and then articulates the foot so it's flat to ground as they step down. (image courtesy of iWalk)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Bespoke Innovations, , creates coverings for prosthetics that mirror the shape of a person's remaining limb, or a believable stand-in, in the case of double amputees. But, instead of entering the uncanny valley of skin-like textures, they feature materials that fit with a person's personal style. (image via Bespoke Innovations)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
This Bespoke Innovations prosthetics cover mimics the pattern of the wearer's tattoo. The company has received high marks from actress, model, and paralympic record-setter Aimee Mullins, a long-time advocate for more artful prosthetics. (image via Bespoke Innovations)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Alfredo De Los Santos wears the X2 microprocessor knee prosthetic. The X2 contains gyroscopes, accelerators and hydraulics to give the wearer greater stability, mobility and versatility. Like the BiOM, the X2 intuits the the movement of its wearer and adapts accordingly. The knee is the result of a program funded in support of the Military Amputee Research Program. (image via U.S. Army)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
America's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched its Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program in 2006 to address the needs of wounded war veterans. They were among the first groups to focus on upper limb prosthetics technology, which had lagged behind that of lower limbs. The program . (image via DARPA)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
DARPA's upper limb prosthetics program has also been an industry leader in creating artificial shoulder sockets, which though perhaps awkward in appearance, closely mimic the mechanics of the wearer's original joint. (image via DARPA)This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com