Man gets fitted with bionic leg powered by human thought


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When Zac Vawter lost his leg in a motorcycle accident back in 2009, he was outfitted with your garden variety prosthetic. He remained displeased with the device and eventually signed on to some experiments. The end goal of these experiments? To craft a new kind of bionic leg, one that not only Vawter would be pleased with, but one that could completely revolutionize the whole notion of prosthetics.

What does this new prosthetic do? Oh, only allow Vawter to control his new leg with his mind. You read that right. This bionic leg can be controlled with thought, just like a real leg. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Center for Bionic Medicine is behind this exciting concept (and the team has helped develop thought-controlled prosthetic arms, too). Vawter is going test out his new robo-limb in an exciting and awesome way, by by climbing 103 flights of stairs to the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower. This guy is no slacker, that’s for sure.

The research team recently placed 11 electrodes on his thigh so that information could be sent to the microcomputer on the prosthetic leg. All Vawter has to do is think “climb stairs” and his new leg will cooperate. He won’t be the only one completing this feisty feat, but he will be the only one completing it while using an experimental bionic leg that reads your thoughts and acts accordingly. Aint science grand? As always, check some related photos and a video below.