Posts Tagged ‘bionics’

Posted: November 1, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Zac Vawter, 31, is to put the revolutionary prosthetic to the test on Sunday, when he attempts to climb 103 flights of stairs to the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower. The whirring, robotic leg will respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring, with Mr Vawter’s thoughts triggering motors, belts and chains to synchronise the movements of the prosthetic ankle and knee. Mr Vawter hoped to reach the top of the tower in an hour – longer than he would have taken before his amputation, but in less time than it would take him to use his normal prosthetic leg. (via Amputee to scale Chicago’s Willis Tower with thought-controlled bionic leg – Telegraph)

Posted: September 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Take the eye. The human eye is a wonder as a sensory device, but it is prone to injury and in humans to degenerative illnesses such as macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness. Stem cells are being investigated on a number of fronts for treatments for vision impairment and blindness. The best example might be the work of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), which I gave my 2011 Award for Stem Cell Company of the Year to, using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs), which is now in combined Phase I/II FDA-approved clinical trials for treating two different forms of macular degeneration. Very exciting. One ACT patient is running a blog that I found very interesting. However, at the same time, bionics researchers are making striking progress to help restore vision as well. Right here at UC Davis, where I am a professor, work was announced today (I’m not involved) in which a bionic telescope is implanted into patients’ eyes who also suffer macular degeneration. Neato! And it seems to work! (via Bionics Vs Stem Cells: Sci-Fi Becoming Reality As These Two Cool Technologies Advance)

Posted: September 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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In a job market that is tougher than it has been for a generation, millions are struggling to find – and keep – work. But while huge swathes of society deal with overcoming cutbacks, closing businesses and forced redundancies, another group of job seekers really does have its work cut out. Even after a summer of extraordinary Paralympic achievement, people with disabilities face even greater hurdles into employment – access and mobility, coupled often with prejudice and ignorance. Many believe technology can go some way to addressing this. But it’s a complex journey, with many crossroads, and one that’s far from finished. At its cutting edge, is Hugh Herr, an associate professor of biometrics at MIT Media Lab. He believes his pioneering technology – known as bionics – has the ability to tap into a under appreciated workforce who, until now, may have been unable to work. “I predict a bionics revolution,” he says. (via BBC News – Bionic revolution: The tech getting disabled people into work)

Australian scientists said Thursday they had successfully implanted a “world first” bionic eye prototype, describing it as a major breakthrough for the visually impaired. Bionic Vision Australia (BVA), a government-funded science consortium, said it had surgically installed an “early prototype” robotic eye in a woman with hereditary sight loss caused by degenerative retinitis pigmentosa. Described as a “pre-bionic eye”, the tiny device is attached to Dianne Ashworth’s retina and contains 24 electrodes which send electrical impulses to stimulate her eye’s nerve cells. Researchers switched on the device in their laboratory last month after Ashworth had fully recovered from surgery and she said it was an incredible experience. “I didn’t know what to expect, but all of a sudden, I could see a little flash—it was amazing,” she said in a statement. “Every time there was stimulation there was a different shape that appeared in front of my eye. Penny Allen, the surgeon who implanted the device, described it as a “world first”.

Australians implant ‘world first’ bionic eye

Posted: July 6, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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US experts have developed what they say are the most biologically-accurate robotic legs yet. Writing in the Journal of Neural Engineering, they said the work could help understanding of how babies learn to walk – and spinal-injury treatment. They created a version of the message system that generates the rhythmic muscle signals that control walking. A UK expert said the work was exciting because the robot mimics control and not just movement. The team, from the University of Arizona, were able to replicate the central pattern generator (CPG) – a nerve cell (neuronal) network in the lumbar region of the spinal cord that generates rhythmic muscle signals. (via BBC News – ‘Most realistic’ robot legs developed)

Rebuilding The Human Body

Posted: June 1, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Today I’m going to focus on medical technologies that are available or being researched now that can be implanted into (or onto) humans. Specifically, I am going to talk about tech that promises to restore (and one day replace) faulty biological systems.

Rebuilding The Human Body

Posted: May 31, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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With a lifelike, anatomical design, the bebionic hand is the world’s most advanced, multi-articulating myoelectric hand. The prosthetic hands feature naturally compliant fingers and thumb and a wide variety of grip patterns for versatility and unrivaled performance.

bebionic has been designed to allow each user to perform everyday tasks confidently and consistently. Featuring grip patterns not available in any other prosthetic hand, including mouse grip, to control a computer mouse, and trigger grip, to operate a house hold spray, bebionic hands are durable, reliable and easy to use.

bebionic3 Pre-Launch (by BeBionicUK)

ht John Rodrigues