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Vanderbilt mechanical engineering lab improving quality of life through prosthetics

News4 got a behind the scenes look at the amazing prosthetics the Vanderbilt University mechanical engineering depart...

Posted: Jul 8, 2018 7:26 AM
Updated: Jul 8, 2018 7:26 AM

News4 got a behind the scenes look at the amazing prosthetics the Vanderbilt University mechanical engineering department are developing.

One man who uses a wheel chair tested an "exoskeleton," a complex prosthetic device that fits around the user's legs and feet, allowing them to walk.

The team of engineers, which includes Professor Michael Goldfarb, were pleased the progress.

"A lot of times we make stuff and it doesn't necessarily work they that way we wanted it to work the first time, or the second or the third time. But eventually -- hopefully -- we get it right and when we do, it's really rewarding," Goldfarb said.

We also got a chance to see their new "smart" ankle. The prosthetic moves with the user as opposed to staying flat. A motor and sensors work together to conform to the terrain.

"The biggest motivator for us is to try improve quality of life for the people -- try to make society a better place," Goldfarb said.

They hope the new ankle will be available in the next few years.

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