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Robotic Prosthetic Ankles Improve 'Natural' Movement, Stability


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A demonstration of the robotic prosthetic ankle.

The robotic prosthetic ankles, controlled by nerve impulses, improved the stability of amputees, allowing them to move more naturally.

Credit: Aaron Fleming

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill demonstrated that nerve impulse-driven robotic prosthetic ankles enable more natural and stable movement by amputees.

The researchers fitted five subjects who each had one leg amputated below the knee with a prototype robotic ankle prosthesis that responds to electromyographic signals picked up by sensors on the leg.

NC State's Aaron Fleming said, "When a study participant thinks about moving the amputated limb, this sends electrical signals through the residual muscle in the lower limb. The sensors pick these signals up through the skin and translate those signals into commands for the prosthetic device."

From NC State University News
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