Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Computer-controlled Prosthetic Closely Matches Action Of Human Legs

HOUGHTON, Mich. (UPI) — Engineers in Michigan say they are working on developing an artificial leg equipped with microprocessors that will deliver a more natural gait to amputees.

While most artificial feet and limbs do a pretty good job restoring mobility to people who have lost a leg, they said, there is still work to be done, witnessed by the fact that over half of amputees take a fall every year.

The secret to a natural walking gate lies in the ankle, the researchers at Michigan Technological University said, and they’re working on an ankle-foot prosthesis that comes close to achieving the innate range of motion of this highly complex joint.

Their prototype computerized artificial legs have pressure-sensitive sensors on the bottom of the foot that detect how the amputee is walking and then send signals to a microprocessor that adjusts the prosthesis to make walking more natural.

Mechanical engineering Professor Mo Rastgaar and doctoral student Evandro Ficanha designed an ankle-foot that can move on two axes, incorporating a side-to-side roll as well as raising the toe up and down, mimicking the action of the human ankle.

Microprocessor-controlled prostheses currently on the market can move an artificial foot in only one direction, toe up and toe down, which is fine if you are marking time on a treadmill, Rastgaar said.

“But in reality, we never walk in a straight line for any length of time,” he said. “When you walk and reach an obstacle, you have to turn, and there’s always something in our way.”

The Michigan researchers’ prosthetic uses a thin, strong cable running from a control box to the ankle mechanism to turn the foot in almost any direction.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Computer-controlled Prosthetic Closely Matches Action Of Human Legs”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.