You'll get a kick out of this brain-powered robotic leg

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Crazy as it might sound, a group of California-based researchers have sperformed the "first successful demonstration of a BCI-controlled lower extremity prosthesis for independent ambulation."

In simpler terms, An Do, MD, from the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center in California and his colleagues at the University of California, Irvine apparently built a prosthetic lower limb that can be controlled in real-time with the help of EEG (electroencephalogram) signals from your brain.

It's something that the team has been working on for a while now. Previously, the team developed a way of using EEG signals to control a virtual avatar. Though the researchers must still test the system on a subject with an actual spinal cord injury, things already look promising.

[Credit: Axriv]

According to PhysOrg, one of the biggest concerns about this new piece of technology is the possibility of "false alarms," something that can potentially lead the user headlong into a six-car pileup on the freeway. Fortunately, and rather impressively, the researchers have reported a complete absence of such false alarms in their testing.

Though it's still in its early stages, the project is an important step towards a future where those suffering from paraplegia might once again regain movement with the help of brain-powered peripherals, and a living, breathing Robocop is no longer impossible.

This story, "You'll get a kick out of this brain-powered robotic leg" was originally published by TechHive.

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