Bluetooth helps double amputees walk again (1 Viewer)

Beast

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bleill lost both his legs above the knees when a bomb exploded under his Humvee while on patrol in Iraq on October 15, 2006. He has 32 pins in his hip and a 6-inch screw holding his pelvis together.

Now, he's starting to walk again with the help of prosthetic legs outfitted with Bluetooth technology more commonly associated with hands-free cell phones.

"They're the latest and greatest," Bleill said, referring to his groundbreaking artificial legs.

Bleill, 30, is one of two Iraq war veterans, both double leg amputees, to use the Bluetooth prosthetics. Computer chips in each leg send signals to motors in the artificial joints so the knees and ankles move in a coordinated fashion.

Bleill's set of prosthetics have Bluetooth receivers strapped to the ankle area. The Bluetooth device on each leg tells the other leg what it's doing, how it's moving, whether walking, standing or climbing steps, for example.

"They mimic each other, so for stride length, for amount of force coming up, going uphill, downhill and such, they can vary speed and then to stop them again," Bleill told CNN from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he's undergoing rehab.

"I will put resistance with my own thigh muscles to slow them down, so I can stop walking, which is always nice."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/01/25/bluetooth.legs/index.html
 

Claw

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That's really neat. It would be crazy if somebody maliciously minded would hack into them though and send them hay-wire.
 

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