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Amputee Uses Thought-Controlled Bionic Leg to Climb Skyscraper

Bionic limbs were once just the stuff of science fiction paperbacks and ’70s TV shows starring Lee Majors. However, unlike the robot maid and the flying car, the bionic limb has very much became a reality.

On Sunday Zac Vawter, who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, was able to climb all 103 floors of Chicago’s Willis Tower on a prosthetic limb which responded to his thoughts.

It was part of an annual benefit for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, which is on the forefront of developing thought-controlled prosthetic. Vawter had been getting treatment at the institute and decided to pay them back by attempting the high-profile climb.

“Everything went great,” Vawter said after reaching the top floor of the skyscraper  “The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part.” The 31-year-old finished his ascent in a little less than an hour, beating his goal.

While climbing the stairs Vawter would think about climbing stairs. Muscles in his hamstrings would then send signals to the prosthetic where a motor powered movements in the knee and ankle.

All in all, it’s pretty amazing stuff. It should also give hope to lazy slobs everywhere that one day we will also have robot maids.

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