Soldier Walks Again, Thanks to Bluetooth Prosthetics

Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Bleill's legs were blown off while on patrol in Iraq. Now, thanks to new prosthetics outfitted with Bluetooth technology, he can walk again:

Bleill, 30, is one of two Iraq war veterans, both double leg amputees, to use the Bluetooth prosthetics. Computer chips in each leg send signals to motors in the artificial joints so the knees and ankles move in a coordinated fashion.

Bleill's set of prosthetics have Bluetooth receivers strapped to the ankle area. The Bluetooth device on each leg tells the other leg what it's doing, how it's moving, whether walking, standing or climbing steps, for example.

"They mimic each other, so for stride length, for amount of force coming up, going uphill, downhill and such, they can vary speed and then to stop them again," Bleill told CNN from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he's undergoing rehab.

Link - Thanks Mr. Lonka!


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People are born without limbs from time to time, you know. What's really sad is that nobody cared enough about those few to make a really cool prosthetic leg... instead, it took a war full of mangled young men and women to make it happen.
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The cause is regrettable, not the invention. My question - what is the cost, and when these vets need new prosthetics, will they get similar replacements? Best case for prosthetic use before replacement - 5 years; worst case - 1 year. I ran into a Vietnam vet about 10 years ago who had saved enough money after 8 years to finally get another prosthesis. He'd lost one leg in combat, and spent almost a year in hospital saving the other. Looking at the remaining leg, I could see that the docs did an impressive job. So, are current vets going to be treated better, or only for this first prosthesis p.r.?
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