The most cutting-edge AI-powered prosthetics “ever built” have been created by researchers at the University of Utah, prompting Ottobock, the largest prosthetic maker in the world, has partnered with them to launch the project internationally.
“The most advanced bionic leg ever produced was created by our @LabBionic [Bionic engineering lab] developed “Utah Bionic Leg.” To bring it to people with lower-limb amputations, we’ve now partnered with the world leader in the prosthetics sector, @OttobockUK “On Friday, the university’s official account tweeted.
Tommaso Lenzi, associate professor at the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Bionic Engineering Lab, stated that the partnership’s aim is to “refine ability” by fusing cutting-edge technologies like robotics, AI, & neural engineering with manufacturing, health services, and patient care.
“We want to ensure that cutting-edge technologies reach the market as soon as possible after leaving the lab. This collaboration will allow us to do just that.”
The project has been in development for several years and represents both students and academics from the university.
How does it work?
The Utah Bionic Leg combines motors, processors, & cutting-edge AI allowing amputees the strength and mobility to perform actions that most people take for granted.
“It is a superior knee prosthesis, unmatched by any product currently available,” said Hans Georg Näder, owner and chairman of board of director at Ottobock’s , on Wednesday during collaborative launch .
Amputees rely on their intact legs & upper body to compensate for the lack of support from prescribed prosthesis. With the Utah Bionic Leg, this is less of an issue as the increased strength of the prosthesis facilitates mobility.
“If you move more quickly, your body will follow suit and provide you with greater energy. Alternately, it adjusts automatically to the stairway’s step height. Alternatively, it can aid in overcoming barriers, “said Lenzi.
The technology works like muscle cells
The Utah Bionic Leg is distinguished from other advised prosthetics by its alleged higher technological level.
According to Lenzi, the technology used to create the bionic leg “basically operates like the muscle cells in the neurological system of the leg.”
Custom designed force & torque sensors as well as accelerometers and gyroscopes are used to determine the position of the leg in space. According to the university, these sensors are connected to a computer processor that translates the sensor inputs into movements of prosthetic joints.
The leg provides power to the motors in the joints, enabling them to help in walking, standing up, walking up and down stairs, or navigating obstacles “based on that real-time data.”
The robotic joints and electrical motors are connected by the prosthetic leg’s “smart transmission system.” Similar to changing gears on a bike, this optimised system adapts the joint actions for each task.
The robotic knee, ankle, & toe joints allow users to handle the prosthetic for lengthy periods of time, just like they would with a intact limb.
“It’s simply quite different. It is so much more technologically advanced, gives you so much more flexibility, and consumes so little energy. For me, that’s the major benefit “Alec McMorris said, an amputee and football coach at a school who has worked closely on the project for the past five years.
In order to evaluate how the Utah Bionic Leg serves users and spot potential improvements to their technology, The collaboration will fund a cutting-edge motion analysis system that includes a force-sensing stairwell & treadmill, as well as 3D motion-capture cameras.
Any future inventions created in the facility will also be jointly owned by Ottobock and the university.