October 2013

Freedom Innovations refines robotic leg

Irvine, CA-based Freedom Innovations announced in October that it will partner with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to commercialize a first-generation prosthesis that uses control systems that mimic the human leg’s power and gait.

The New England Journal of Medicine e-published a case report on September 25 on the use of a prototype, intended for above knee amputees, that decodes electromyographic signals from autologous nerve transfers with a pattern-recognition algorithm and combines them with data from sensors on the prosthesis to interpret the patient’s intended movements.

The technology reduced the rate of errors, including the risk of falls, to 1.8% compared with 12.9% for standard robotic leg prostheses.

Freedom Innovation, which plans to make the technology commercially available in three to five years, will work to make the leg smaller, quieter, and more mobile and to create designs for below knee amputees.

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