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Biotech Medicine Robotics Hardware Build

Climbing 103 Floors On a 'Bionic' Leg 117

An anonymous reader writes "4 years ago I read about experimental targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) surgery on Slashdot. 3 years ago I crashed my motorcycle and had my leg amputated — at which time I had TMR done. Today I climbed 103 floors of the Willis Tower in Chicago with a experimental prosthetic using TMR. Thanks, Slashdot."
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Climbing 103 Floors On a 'Bionic' Leg

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  • Nerdy question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kergan ( 780543 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:25AM (#41879547)


    Out of curiosity if you don't mind the (potentially awkward) question, how does it work/feel when you control a bionic leg? Scanning the wiki article, I sounds like it's basically plugged into the nervous system at where the amputation took place, and you had to retrain the neural system so the bionic limb responds accurately? (Complete with some level of sensory feedback?)

  • Thanks to you sir! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:25AM (#41879551)
    It's wonderful to read such a positive and inspiring story. Bravo!
  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @09:28AM (#41879569) Homepage Journal

    Wondering if the data collected from this cyborg (yes dude you're now a cyborg), could also be useful as training data for independent robotics.

    Have you ever thought of open sourcing your leg data :) Could be a huge contribution to OSS robotics. Maybe get other's with prosthetics to contribute as well; arm, hands, feet.

  • A shoe question? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 05, 2012 @10:27AM (#41880021)

    Great job man! I was there this weekend too and saw you at the top. I had a question actually about the shoe you use on your other leg. It had a huge sole (looked a lot like a Hoka brand trail shoe). Is that what you wear normally or did you specifically wear that for the stair climb?

  • Re:Neural interface? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:00AM (#41880385)

    The idea here is that you take all the nerves that would go to the amputated limb, and reroute them to some other muscle group. Then you hook your sensors up to the new muscle group and move the limb based on how that muscle twitches. But, since the nerves have been rewired, you don't have to think about twitching your thigh to move your calf, you just try to move your calf and the prosthetic responds intuitively.

  • Re:Nerdy question... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:13AM (#41880597) Homepage Journal

    I don't know about a bionic leg, but I have a bionic lens in my left eye. I had to practice reading to strengthen the focusing muscles I hadn't used in ten years, but the actual workings are just like with a normal 20 year old eye. even though I'm 60..

    I would imagine at first the leg would take a little getting used to, but after a while it will probably be natural to him. Except that leg looks pretty heavy.

  • by phrackwulf ( 589741 ) on Monday November 05, 2012 @11:35AM (#41880847)

    I'd say you have Dr. Kuiken and the bionic research group at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to Thank. Dr. Kuiken is the best. Period. You can read all about him and his team at Try not to slashdot em. They are doing some of the most exciting bionic and prosthetic reseach. My ambition is to work for Dr. Kuiken some day.


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