Live Better
 
 

A bionic leg controlled by the mind

Inspiring breakthrough in brain-powered prosthetics sees a bionic leg respond to its owner’s mind.

The advanced-movement prosthetic leg was created by a group of engineers, neuroscientists, surgeons, and prosthetists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and is the first of its kind, expanding on similar technology that has been used for brain-controlled prosthetic arms and hands.

The test-pilot is 31-year-old Zac Vawter, who lost his leg just above the knee in a motorcycle accident three years ago. The leg uses sensors that respond to muscle contractions in Zac’s thigh, so that all he needs to do is imagine moving his absent leg and the prosthetic puts his thoughts into motion. Wearing the leg, he was able to climb all 103 flights of stairs of the Willis Tower in Chicago – a feat that suggests a bright spark of hope for millions of amputees in the future.

Recommended Reading

The early days: adjusting to parenthood

How to look after yourself emotionally and mentally.

Read more

Love and protest: 40 years of Mardi Gras

Looking back over 40 years of pride, passion and activism.

Read more

Food for sleep

Sleep expert Professor David Hillman shares some tips.

Read more

Is strength-based parenting right for you?

Psychologist Dr Lea Waters explains this parenting approach.

Read more

Calculating your BMI

How to calculate your BMI

Read more

How to set goals that matter

Why you should choose goals with your real values in mind.

Read more

The foolproof way to change a habit, according to science

Your action plan for changing the habit loop.

Read more

The 6 most magical places to travel in 2018

Add these destinations to the top of your travel wishlist.

Read more