This medical video examines a silicon chip implant will perform the same processes as the damaged part of the brain it is replacing.
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Jennifer Mathews: Working out is part of Patty Chambers' routine. She leads an active life even after losing her foot in a car accident at age 14. That's when she got her first prosthesis. Patty Chambers: When I first began in 1947, they had the old corset lace-up variety with the steel sides to it. Jennifer Mathews: But prosthetic limbs have come a long way since then, the latest is this new ankle; it has a brain. Dr. Jay Martin: The system uses several sensors again with the artificial intelligence system to be constantly thinking and analyzing the patient's walking just like the person's brain. Jennifer Mathews: The new technology starts with a device that can mimic the human body. Each device is custom-made to match the patient's walking style. Dr. Jay Martin: We're able to offer an amputee full anatomical range of motion. Jennifer Mathews: The microprocessor inside the ankle constantly changes the position of the foot with respect to ground. The device fits easily, and Patty says it's a far cry from the painted wooden prosthetics she wore as a young woman. Patty Chambers: It's great. It's very smooth. It's got a lot more - I have a lot more leverage getting up and down and walking, moving. Dr. Jay Martin: The more we can connect the human brain and the prosthesis, the more functional, safe and lifelike the amputee's abilities will become. Jennifer Mathews: Researchers say the device will be available to the public in about two years. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.