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  • Person working on a robotic leg that is wearing a shoe. Caption: This is a battery that powers everything.

    A shark attack survivor now knows what it feels like to be part bionic man. 23-year-old amputee Craig Hutto has volunteered to help test a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg with powered knee and ankle joints. With support from the National Science Foundation and continued support from the National Institutes of Health, Vanderbilt University mechanical engineer Michael Goldfarb has spent several years developing the leg, which operates with special sensors, an electric motor, a battery, and computer technology. Sensors monitor the user's motion and microprocessors figure out what the person is trying to do. Goldfarb says the powered leg reduces the lag time between a real leg and a prosthetic one. Hutto confirms that the powered prosthetic is much better at anticipating his next move.

    (Source: DCMP)

  • Robotic arms manipulating a small ball. Caption: is pushing the world of robotics and prosthetics

    Research engineers and students in the University of California, Los Angeles, Biomechatronics Lab are designing artificial limbs to be more sensational, with the emphasis on sensation. With support from the National Science Foundation, the team, led by mechanical engineer Veronica J. Santos, is constructing a language of touch that both a computer and a human can understand. Part of the National Science Foundation Series “Science Nation.”

    (Source: DCMP)

  • A woman. Caption: So we found a way to control prosthetic limbs.

    How could brain-computer interfaces be used in the real world? Katherine Pratt, a researcher at the Center for Neurotechnology at University of Washington, discusses this question. Part of the "Ask a Scientist" series.

    (Source: DCMP)

  • Two monkeys are clinging to the branches in the tree tops. Caption: The world's most exotic animal species.

    A team of veterinarians travel to Cambodia to support wild animal rescue and emergency care efforts for tigers and elephants. Join the team as they study exotic Asian tigers and provide expertise as an orphaned elephant baby receives a prosthetic leg. Part of "The Wildlife Docs" series.

    (Source: DCMP)

  • Person wearing dark glasses. Caption: The next person we visit is a man whose eye was replaced

    Cyborg technology is a revolutionary development in rehabilitation medicine. It allows the brain and nervous system to manipulate specially engineered devices that help people regain the use of impaired body function. Once a dream of science fiction, this revolutionary technology is now becoming a reality. Demostrates a deep brain stimulation that can help stop the violent shaking of victims of Parkinson's disease. Presents two professors from the State University of New York and Duke University who discuss their cutting-edge research.

    (Source: DCMP)

  • Streaks of light from silver to light brown in an irregular pattern. Caption: One gene plays an important role for the hormone vasopressin.

    At the twilight of an active life, Anna is now bedridden due to a serious fall. What makes the elderly--even those who are in full possession of their mental and physical faculties--more prone to falling than younger people? As this program demonstrates, the answer lies not in the body or the brain alone, but in their interconnection. Exploring Anna's past dreams of becoming a ballerina, the film shows how complex physical motion, such as dancing or even typing, requires sophisticated coordination between the body's neural, muscular, and skeletal systems. How aging affects such coordination and how new artificial limb technology enables movement are running themes in the program.

    (Source: DCMP)

  • Person with a device attached to their head behind and above their ear and a wire leading to a device that is affixed to the back of their ear. Caption: It's called a cochlear implant, and it helps me hear.

    The cochlear implant is widely considered to be the most successful neural prosthetic on the market. The implant, which helps individuals who are deaf perceive sound, translates auditory information into electrical signals that go directly to the brain, bypassing cells that don't serve this function as they should because they are damaged. Led by engineer Pamela Bhatti at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a team of researchers at both Georgia Tech and the Georgia Regents University created a new type of interface between the device and the brain that could dramatically improve the sound quality of the next generation of implants.

    (Source: DCMP)