MIT develops tiny magnetic beads that can help control prosthetic limbs better

The research team at the MIT media lab in the united states has developed a new approach that allows more precise control for people with amputation who have prosthetic limbs. It is quite challenging to control the prosthesis so that it moves the same way the human foot does. Using electromyography—the most common way of controlling limbs by recording electrical activity from the muscle—provides only limited control of the prosthesis.

MIT’s media lab researchers unveiled a different approach that could help control prosthetic limbs in a more precise way. The process is based on the insertion of small magnetic beads into the muscle tissue where the amputation is. This allows the accurate measurement of the length of contracting muscles while being non-invasive and gives feedback within a few milliseconds. By inserting a pair of magnets into the muscle, the movement of the magnets can be measured, and how much the muscle is contracting and how fast the contraction is.

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