Inspenet, November 1, 2023.
Bio Leg , a brainchild of the company BionicM , is a fully integrated prosthetic leg, equipped with artificial intelligence and enhanced power. It recently received Class II exemption from the FDA, accelerating its path to the US market and its planned launch in late 2024.
Bio Leg from BionicM combines microelectronic processors with motor power, resulting in a more natural and fluid gait, greater stability, and the reduction of cognitive load, reducing fatigue when walking, standing or sitting. This prosthesis weighs six pounds and has a battery that can last a full day .
Although the Tokyo-based company BionicM is not widely recognized in the United States, it has been working on the development of motorized legs for almost a decade, during which time it has focused its efforts on perfecting its technology and strengthening its financing, in addition to winning prestigious awards.
The creator of the Bio Leg prosthetic legs: an amputee
The creative brain behind the Bio Leg is Sun Xiaojun, originally from China, who lost his right leg at the age of nine due to osteosarcoma. For the next 15 years, he had to rely on crutches due to the lack of prosthetic technology in his region and it was not until he moved to Japan as a graduate student that he received his first prosthetic leg.
However, instead of experiencing the freedom and mobility he longed for, Sun faced difficulties related to balance, resistance, and pain in his prosthesis. It was at that time that he questioned whether there could be a better solution, so he decided to join the robotics department at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, where he began working on the development of a lighter, more robust and resistant prosthesis. to falls.
Notably, BionicM introduced the product through a modified direct-to-consumer sales model, collaborating with third-party plug manufacturers. This pricing structure makes the Bio Leg more affordable compared to other advanced bionic prosthetics, although it is not considered inexpensive.
In Japan, competing devices cost about $80,000, while a Bio Leg would sell for about a third of that figure. Despite this reduction in price, it is still out of reach for most people with amputees, so BionicM is working on making the device eligible for government-backed subsidies, with the goal of making it affordable. reach a greater number of patients in Asia.
A personalized prosthesis
According to an article in Japanese industry magazine Bridge Tokyo , BionicM is exploring options to convert artificial intelligence sensors built into the prosthesis into biometric tracking devices.
By recording various parameters of each step, such as stride length, speed, force and direction, the leg could provide prosthetic professionals and physical therapists with a wealth of data to guide their clinical recommendations. “There are many types of amputees“Sun said on the “Disrupting Japan” podcast. “We need to customize the parameters according to each user’s request“.
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