Garth Stewart, 24, who lost his left leg below the knee in an explosion, received the prototype device that is designed to reduce fatigue, improve balance and provide amputees with a more fluid gait. This is just another example of biomechanical engineers designing devices that help turn return as much of amputees' former abilities as possible.
Stewart's prosthetic leg features an energy-generating ankle that's far more powerful than a conventional spring. The technology should be commercially available by the summer of 2008.
Implications - Scientists and engineers are working together to create innovative prosthetic limbs that mimic natural biomechanical processes. These advanced prosthetics aren't the peg legs of generations prior, and may even form the basis for futuristic exoskeletons for able-bodied laborers.
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