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June 15, 2006

other tech: superior prosthetics

Professor Hugh Herr, director of the Biomechatronics Group at MIT's Media Lab, has created a superior prosthetic knee with artificial intelligence software A prosthetic ``Rheo Knee" that uses artificial intelligence to replicate the workings of a biological human joint. The group builds artificial limbs, robotic limbs that wrap around impaired ones, and a goal is technology that augments healthy limbs, making them more efficient. Herr and his group are developing machines called bio-hybrids, surgical implants that are a mix of biological and synthetic material. Herr believes that we live in a time where three key disciplines -- tissue engineering, machine-learning, and robotics -- have advanced to the point where biomechatronics is poised for a huge leap forward. Herr thinks that, within his lifetime, amputees will run faster than people with biological legs.

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