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October 11, 2017

Military Amputees Are Using AI to Teach Their Prosthetics How to Move

  • Government
  • Executive
  • Science
  • Robotics/AI - While the military pursues the use of artificial intelligence to design autonomous systems and build better weapons systems, some combat-wounded veterans are using the technology to control prosthetics that can take commands and learn over time.

At the Association of the United States Army annual meeting Monday, Glen Lehman, a former Army sergeant first class, demonstrated how a system built by Coapt Engineering could help him control his prosthetic right arm more naturally and with less muscle strain than other neural-controlled prosthetic devices. Lehman lost his arm during a 2008 deployment to Iraq.

Use of more capable prosthetics has grown in recent years, but Lehman explained that many of them have a more limited set of movement options and are actually quite tiresome for the user.

To get the arm to move, the wearer must flex a muscle to reach a command threshold, and muscle exhaustion is a danger.

Coapt's system, on the other hand, can learn to respond to different commands as requested.


Image Citation 

US Food and Drug Administration via Wikimedia Commons