Medical Robotics

Robotics and AI Help Injured GIs

Posted 9 Mar 2006 at 20:09 UTC by steve Share This

While the war in Iraq has killed more than 30,000 people so far, the number of maimed and disfigured is even larger. Just counting American soldiers, it's estimated there have been over 17,000 wounded. Modern body army protects the torso but not the limbs, resulting in lots of amputees who need prosthetics. An LA Times article gives an overview of the advances in prosthetics that draw on robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. Neural interfaces that allow a person's brain to move bionic limbs are now working in the lab could be available commercially soon. The article mentions the MIT Biomechatronics Group's initiative in biohybrid prosthetics that combine living tissue and bone with titanium prosthetics and implanted sensors to provide restored arm and leg functionality. The article covers the most advanced prosthetics that are available today including the C-Leg and the Rheo Knee. It also talks about the highly anticipated Ossur Power Knee which will be the first commercially available powered knee joint that replicates human muscle activity. Using sensor data it calculates the position and power needed to navigate stairs, inclines, or level surfaces.

The good and the bad, posted 11 Mar 2006 at 01:11 UTC by lucretiaX » (Apprentice)

As with any war, the field of prosthetics and orthotics always makes great advances. Some of the last great advances were during WWII when the use of plastics was cutting edge. So although the numbers of maimed soliders is tragic, the bonus is that with advances like the ertl procedure, the c-leg and with skin sensitive gel liners, this is no longer the end of a solider's military career.

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