back to article Cyborg MIT prof touts iPhone-controlled power-jumping legs

A cyborg MIT professor has developed and tested innovative lithium-ion powered prosthetic feet which can thrust a wearer off the ground just as normal biological ones can - or be adjusted (using an iPhone app, of course) for greater power, perhaps allowing remarkable leaping and running performance. Professor Hugh Herr is …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Gareth 14
    Thumb Up

    That's some minor home surgery for me then!

    Excuse me standin' on one leg, just lopped me other 'orf so I can be gettin' on o those new bionic thingimajigs.

    One thing tho? does it twitter?

  2. DannyAston
    Thumb Down


    Is there really any need for more iPhone stories.....

  3. LuMan


    "Eliminating disability and blurring man and machine will be one of the great stories of this century."

    What? Like The Terminator? That was a good story about a man-machine thing. And AI. And Tetsuo. And The Six Million Dollar Man... Oh, hang on..

  4. Chris Miller
    Thumb Up

    Now you've done it

    The rasping noise in the background is Kevin Warwick sawing his own leg off.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    So it's bluetooth configured

    not iPhone controlled.

    Also, doesn't the iPhone lack pretty much any bluetooth profile that would allow controlling/configuring this? I mean he'd be better off using a WinMo phone- at least the ones I've got- as they can set up bluetooth serial ports in a few lines of code. No idea about android or symbian, but WinMo 2003 up definitely can.

    And anyway, would you want a piece of equipment you don't own or have any real say in the function of controlling your leg? And that's not just the iPhone- surely anyone could surreptitiously re-pair his leg with their phone assuming that he had the pairing button accessible? That's a recipe for a Wrong Trousers scenario if I ever saw one!

    And Cybermen FTW. <tasteless> though in this guy's case it's more like the frozen wastes of toe-loss than telos. </tasteless>

  6. Henny


    I thought that my degree in "Mechatronics" was pretty obscure, but Biomechatronics trumps mine anyday!

  7. Dave Alderson

    Dave Think4

    Bluejack the bloke sat next to you…. Oh what fun you could have!

  8. Robert E A Harvey


    why no pictures

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to ask

    "whole range of different cybernetic feet - having lost both his own, and some of his lower legs"

    How many legs did he lose, and how many does he have left?

    I'll get my coat, and the shoes please, yes just a pair for me.

  10. Simon Waddington
    Thumb Up

    Tired in the other leg?

    Not surprising they get tired in the bio-leg, given that it's having to heft the sodding great big lithium battery that will power the mech-leg for a short time.

    Thumbs up for all this though!

  11. raving angry loony

    I can see this...

    I can just see it now. Thing gets built, then Apple pulls the upgrade AND the app thanks to their broken "approvals" process. Or an update has a bug, in which case good luck getting anything fixed in under a month.

    Meanwhile, your legs are walking from London to Edinburgh whether you want them to or not.

  12. Ian Ferguson
    IT Angle

    iPhone app?

    He'll be lucky to control anything using the iPhone's crippled Bluetooth, unless he's jailbroken the phone.

    However, I agree with DannyAston, why lever iPhone into a perfectly good story!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    How is this news?

    Engadget reported on this two years ago, and nothing seems to have changed since then to make it newsworthy again. Slow enough day to be dragging up antiques for reprint, or what?

  14. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Yes, I remember the story

    where the Doctor defeated the Cybermen with nothing more than an iphone app and a "borrowed" wifi connection.

  15. Alain Moran

    The wrong trousers?

    Where's the Wallace & Gromit icon when you need it?

  16. wim

    solar hat

    I guess you will also be happy to wear a solar hat to power you bionic legs ?

    I think that the biggest problem will always be energy storage.

    The testers tell him that their limit is because of their real leg and not the bionic one.

    Let those testers walk every day and see how long it will take before the limit becomes the bionic leg. For fairness he should also limit the weight of the bionic leg and battery to the weight of a real leg. Otherwise the real leg is actually carrying the power supply for the bionic leg.

    I think the advances are great but I am still waiting for some real neuron interface bionic leg before I will consider it an upgrade.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inquiring minds need to know..

    Do they run Linux and is the same criminal mastermind behind The Wrong Trousers related to Tux?

  18. Joe Blogs

    Emmm... background?

    Apart from the Bluetooth issue of not being able to pair up a JesusPhone with the legs anyway, surely the other problem would be that the jPhone doesn't allow background tasks. Every time you wanted to connect and get the legs to do something would involve having to find the "Walk/Run" app from all the icons you have, run it, and then tell it what you want to do, and all the while hoping that no-one calls you when you are using the jPhone to control your legs while running after the bus.

  19. Nux Vomica

    F*ck with us and...

    we'll rickroll your legs.........

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like