NEW YORK (NBC) - Amputees can now use their thoughts to move a robotic leg.
Zac Vawter had his lower leg and knee amputated in 2009 after a motorcycle accident. During that surgery, his doctors re-routed nerves from damaged muscles to healthy hamstring muscle above the knee.
Now, those nerves can intercept his thoughts when he is trying to move his leg. They tell the robotic leg what type of movement he is trying to perform, and it is put into action.
By using thought signals, instead of robotic sensors or remote controls, amputees say the experience is more seamless and it is easier to reposition the leg.
This study established the fact that these thought-controlled bionic legs work. However, there are still many flaws that need to be worked out.
Researchers are hoping to make these legs available to veterans and civilians for in-home testing over the next five years.
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