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Smart prosthetics

It's a step forward for artificial limbs

Traditional replacement limbs can lack natural mobility and agency. Step forward the AI limb.

A "smart prosthetic" is designed to react and articulate naturally with the wearer's movements. EMG impulses detected from muscle contractions in the residual limb of a below-knee amputee are used to move the prosthetic. 

The remarkable design of an active prosthesis was achieved by a team of MEng student at the University of Southampton, led by a former IBM internship student who is now working back at IBM this year. They were mentored by members of the IBM Hursley Innovation Centre and an IBM Senior Inventor.

They used IBM Watson Machine Learning to train the limb based on body movements. It works out how to move most effectively and naturally while in motion. 

Watson Machine Learning helps data scientists and developers work together to integrate AI into their applications. IBM Watson IoT Platform is the cloud-hosted service for the device, and makes it simple to use the data from the detectors in the limb. 

This year, the Southampton team presented their achievement to four hundred students and academics at the university. Now you can see the results for yourself at our Festival of Innovation.


IBM UK Lab Campus, Hursley,
Winchester, Hampshire,
SO21 2JN
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