Bionic Leg makes Amputee Faster On His Feet

A shark attack survivor now knows what it feels like to be part bionic man. 23-year-old amputee Craig Hutto has volunteered to play guinea pig, testing a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg with powered knee and ankle joints. With early support from the National Science Foundation and continued support from the National Institutes of Health, Vanderbilt University mechanical engineer Michael Goldfarb has spent several years developing the leg, which operates with special sensors, an electric motor, a battery and computer technology. Sensors monitor the user's motion and microprocessors figure out what the person is trying to do. Goldfarb says the powered leg reduces the lag time between a real leg and a prosthetic one. Hutto confirms that the powered prosthetic is much better at anticipating his next move.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:34

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