According to a report recently published on the New York Times, war veterans who have lost a limb due to wounds, or patients who suffered an amputation after an illness such as diabetes, might soon be able to come back to an almost normal life.
This would happen thanks to a prosthetic knee, called X2, which is equipped with an array of high profile technology, which allows for more realistic movements, and most of all allows the bionic leg to react properly when it encounters obstacles, such as stairs, uneven terrain or stones, all things that have always posed a serious threat to those who are forced to walk with an artificial leg.
In fact, the X2 prosthetic knee is equipped with an array of motion sensors, gyroscopes and micro processors, which give the patient the opportunity of enjoying a wider variety of movements, helping him to distribute his weight more evenly between the artificial leg and the real one, which for obvious sensitivity reasons tends to be overloaded. Thanks to X2 it will then be easier to walk down a slope, up a flight of stairs and, in general, enjoy a higher precision of movement.
Compared to similar models, X2 is lighter and smaller in size, and the battery that powers it is capable of a longer life. The cost that the Department of Defense should cover is of approximately 30000 dollars for each item; they are planning to supply some 200 pieces within the next year to veteran in need.
This figure is just a drop in the sea if compared to the 5000 new cases of people finding themselves in this situation every year, and to the 45000 who are already suffering, but certainly it is a first step forward, most of all under the point of view of morale.