Perhaps it's a sobering reminder of the world we live in, but we've seen prosthetic technology
grow in leaps and bounds over the last couple years. Continuing the upward arc, Ossur has just announced its second generation POWER KNEE device. Developed in partnership with Victhom Human Bionics, the device is billed as "the world's first and only motor-powered, artificially intelligent prosthesis for above-knee amputees." Features include: advanced torque and accelerometer sensors that keep an eye on the ground level and compensate accordingly; actuators that actively lift and stimulate the users own muscles for walking up stairs, inclines and ramps; and what the company is calling its "artificial intelligence" features, which allow the device to "observe the whole state of the respective human-system interface." Currently in use at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a full commercial release is expected by 2010.