Walk

  • Scientists have added tactile sensors to a prosthetic leg, allowing users to walk with much less effort.
  • ​If you're making a 2-mm-long walking robot, it pretty much goes without saying that the thing won't be able to carry much of a battery. That's why Georgia Tech's new "micro-bristle-bots" are instead propelled by vibrations. And someday, they may actually be capable of moving within the human body.
  • ​When most of us walk over uneven ground, our feet respond to the dips and humps by flexing the ankle and moving the toes. Prosthetic feet typically don't do so, often resulting in falls. An experimental new model, however, uses a tripod-like assembly to react more like a real foot.
  • ​If someone is recovering from an injury that reduces their mobility, it's not uncommon for them to walk with a cane throughout the day, and to periodically get their progress checked by a rehabilitative therapist. A new "smart" cane, however, could allow them to do both things at once.
  • ​When someone gets a hip replaced, it's not uncommon for that leg to subsequently be a little longer or shorter than it was before. Thanks to a new system developed by German scientists, however, that may soon no longer be the case.
  • ​Ordinarily, prosthetic legs have ankle joints that are passive, moving only in response to pressure exerted by the user. As a result, walking up stairs or over uneven ground can be difficult. A new "smart" prosthetic ankle, however, adjusts its foot angle according to what the user is doing.
  • Science
    ​Have you ever said of a person, "You can see it in the way they walk"? Well, if it was their identity that you were referring to, then you were right. To that end, scientists have now created an artificial intelligence-based system that identifies people via their footsteps.
  • Although downhill skiing itself is a lot of fun, trying to walk around in the boots can be … challenging. It was with this limitation in mind that British skier and entrepreneur Rony Shirion designed Zuke, a permanent attachment that brings a curved sole to ski boots.
  • Science
    ​​According to the University of Nottingham, over 90 percent of sheep farmers in the UK report lameness in their flocks – and the sooner it's treated, the better. That's why the university has developed a sensor that detects lameness before it's visually obvious.​
  • ​One of the more debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease is something known as "gait freeze," wherein the person temporarily loses the ability to step forward while walking. Scientists have come up with something that significantly reduces the problem, however – shoes with lasers in them.
  • Science
    Scientists have created what they claim is "the world’s first machine to convert light directly into walking." It actually undulates more than walks, and could ultimately be used for applications such as the transportation of small objects within inaccessible spaces.​
  • In the past we've seen experimental one-off canes that detected obstacles via ultrasound, or which allowed their users to locate people that they know. While the iCane can't do either of those things, it is possibly headed for production – and it does still have some handy tricks up its sleeve.