Assistive Technologies


Why Would Prosthetic Arms Need to See or Connect to Cloud AI?

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Based on "Connected Arms", a keynote talk at the O'Reilly AI Conference delivered by Joseph Sirosh, CTO for AI at Microsoft. There are over 1 million new amputees every year, i.e. one every 30 seconds – a truly shocking statistic. The World Health Organization estimates that between 30 to 100 million people around the world are living with limb loss today. Unfortunately, only 5-15% of this population has access to prosthetic devices. Although prostheses have been around since ancient times, their successful use has been severely limited for millennia by several factors, with cost being the major one.


AT&T's LTE-M device can help doctors perfect prosthetic limbs

Engadget

AT&T has teamed up with prostheses provider Hanger Clinic to develop a standalone, network-connected device that can help doctors tweak prosthetic limbs for each patient's needs. The small device, designed to stick to a prosthesis, is equipped with an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. Those components can detect and collect the data medical providers need to be able to figure out if a patient has issues with their limb's fit and comfort or if they're having any movement issues. And, since the device uses AT&T's LTE-M network, it can upload that information to the cloud in near-real time even with no WiFi or Bluetooth connection. According to Hanger Clinic Vice President Aaron Flores, not all amputees can communicate their concerns or discomforts properly.


Yemen's war on body parts sparks cottage industry in prosthetic limbs

FOX News

A look at how Yemen's brutal civil war is creating a market for prosthetic limbs. Each is missing a vital part of their body – a hand, a leg, an arm. Inside that building is new hope for each: Prosthetic limbs are being cut, carved, melted and molded. Young patient recently outfitted with a new leg waits for his training session outside the Ma'rib prosthetics center in Yemen (Fox News/Hollie McKay) "Sometimes I go to my office to cry for each of these miserable stories," Dr. Haitham Ahmed Ali Ahmed, a Sudanese volunteer with Physicians Across Continents, told Fox News. "It isn't fair, but we do whatever we can to give them another chance."


Twilio gets more than 50 new text-to-speech voices with Amazon Polly

ZDNet

Twilio is giving developers more control over their interactive voice applications with built-in support for Amazon Polly -- the AWS text-to-speech service that uses deep learning to synthesize speech. The integration adds more than 50 human-sounding voices in 25 languages to the Twilio platform, the cloud communications company announced Monday. In addition to offering access to different voices and languages, Polly will enable developers using Twilio's Programmable Voice to control variables like the volume, pitch, rate and pronunciation of the voices that interact with end users. Programmable Voice has long offered a built-in basic text-to-speech (TTS) service that supports three voices, each with their own supported set of languages. TTS capabilities, however, have improved dramatically in recent years, and Twilio notes that Amazon has been at the forefront of these improvements.


Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Blind People See In Philadelphia

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Money is one of many challenges for people who are visually impaired. Its features include recognizing different kinds of products which are then spoken into an earpiece. "Oreos cookies, it will tell me it's Oreos cookies this is how you recognize the product," said Pedro. Dr. Georgia Crozier with the Moore Eye Institute says MyEye is unlike other devices that work with magnification. This sees for the person and translates it into words.


The people with dragon legs and electric fingers

BBC News

Just because something is practical doesn't mean it has to be unfashionable. See how seven disabled people have "pimped up" the equipment they use every day. Viktorija Radvila's custom-made prosthetic leg cover is adorned with sculpted dragons and crystal beads. She describes it as a "Sunday best" item. "I put this on instead of a necklace or rings if I'm going out and I want to look smart," the 34-year-old Lithuanian, who now lives near London, says.


Kayaker Locates Owner of Prosthetic Leg Found in Arkansas

U.S. News

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that 38-year-old Michael Nelson was kayaking in the Little Red River on Sunday when he saw the pink sole of a Nike sneaker floating. He says the leg is "in pretty good shape" besides some rusted screws.


Mark Swinhoe death: Victim was beaten with own prosthetic leg

BBC News

A man was beaten with his own prosthetic leg before being stabbed to death in a drugs deal that went wrong. Mark Swinhoe, 38, from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, died in Moira Street, Loughborough, in the early hours of 14 January. He was attacked and killed by two men in what detectives described as a "vicious and violent encounter". Harry Matthews, 22, of Brush Drive, Loughborough, was convicted of murder at Leicester Crown Court on Monday. Matthews was also found guilty of assault.


US Navy Developing 'Smart' Prosthetic Limbs

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The Office of Naval Research has revealed plan to partner with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Naval Research Laboratory, and a number of universities to develop a new type of leg prostheses. Along with being more comfortable, these smart artificial limbs will help users prevent the threat of infection. The Monitoring OsseoIntegrated Prosthesis (MOIP) project hinges upon a titanium fixture that is surgically implanted into the recipient's femur. Bone is generated around the point where it's implanted, so only the small connection point juts out. An artificial limb can be connected or detached from this adapter at will.


The Collective to Make Better Decisions in product development

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Strategy 2 Market's Report Taps Into The "Cyber-Human" And How It Could Help Improve Product Development Drotar and Morrissey, co-founders of Strategy 2 Market have seen countless product development mishaps over the years. These mishaps boil down to poor decision-making and the limited ability to identify and manage product development uncertainty and risk. Improving project team decision-making through the assistance of computers/ Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key asset that product development teams can benefit from to reduce the number of product development mishaps. Drotar and Morrissey created a "cyber-human" tool called the Business Fit Framework (BFF). The BFF enables and supports Malone's key elements of an intelligent system: create possibilities for action, decide which actions to take, sense the external world, remember the past and learn from experience.