Artificial legs to feel ‘real’

Austrian scientists develop artificial leg which feels almost real for amputees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Scientists from Austria have created an artificial leg with technology that transmits sensations from the foot with sensors connected to the brain through nerve endings.

Wolfgang Rangger, who lost his leg in 2007, tried the artificial leg both in the lab and at home.

“It feels like I have a foot again. It's like a second lease of life,” Rangger told the BBC.

The sensors placed under the sole of the artificial leg which are connected to the nerve endings at the stump transmit in real time.

According to Professor Hubert Egger from Linz University, this is the first time an amputee has tested a prosthesis with sensory enhancements.

“The sensors tell the brain there is a foot and the wearer has the impression that it rolls off the ground when he walks,” Egger said.

Ranger, a 54 year old teacher, lost his leg due to a blood clot caused by a stroke. He has been testing the device for six months.

“I no longer slip on ice and I can tell whether I walk on gravel, concrete, grass or sand. I can even feel small stones,” he said.

TRTWorld and agencies