An artificially intelligent, open-source bionic leg could change the future of prosthetics

Open-source projects to develop smart prosthetics for the upper body, such as hands, are well-established parts of the bionic landscape. Now, legs get to join the party, thanks to the efforts of scientists Levi Hargrove and Elliott Rouse at the University of Michigan and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab…

Bionic legs are frustratingly tricky. Maintaining balance is hard work; the additional stress of supporting a patient’s body adds still more intricacy to the equation. Then, of course, there are all the things that legs are expected to do in the course of movement: cuts, pivots, turns. The flick of an ankle is far more complicated than it looks. The key to making it work, then, is AI. The Raspberry Pi-powered AI-based control uses a combination of muscle contraction signals and sensor data from within the bionic leg to guess what a user is going to do next, and responds accordingly.