‘Like a Superhero’ — VA Tests Prosthetic That Uses Artificial Intelligence

May 7, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
Marlon Bounds prosthetic knee

A Tennessee veteran’s new prosthetic knee uses artificial intelligence to detect human movement patterns. Photo via VAntage Point.

A handful of veterans around the country are trying out new prosthetic legs that use artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology.

According to a blog post from VAntage Point, the Power Knee by Össur uses a motor-powered microprocessor in the knee. Artificial intelligence detects and aids human movement patterns when walking, standing, sitting, and kneeling. 

Marlon Bounds prosthetic knee
Marlon Bounds, left, stands with a new prosthetic knee that uses artificial intelligence to detect human movement patterns. Photo via VAntage Point.

Army veteran Marlon Bounds, whose leg had to be amputated in 2016 after an infection, is one of two vets at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System to get the new prosthetic, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs blog. So far, Bounds said, the knee has been “top-notch.”

“I can power through obstacles,” he said, according to VAntage Point. “It can lift me up. It helps me go downstairs. Now, I can cut my grass a little bit better. I can do things better now than I did before, and it makes me look like a superhero.”

The prosthetic isn’t available everywhere yet; Nashville and Boston are the only VA sites to receive the Power Knee to date, according to VAntage Point.

Read Next: How Vets Pushed Prosthetics Industry To Make Better Products

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

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