World’s first ‘bionic knee brace’ returns energy to your joints to boost leg strength

What if medical braces weren’t just cumbersome accessories for painful injuries? Hardcore athletes know that joint braces can protect the most vulnerable mechanics of their bodies, even preventing injury altogether. Spring Loaded Technology aims to do just that with a new device called Levitation, which bills itself as the world’s first truly bionic knee brace. Levitation stores and returns energy to the knee to boost strength, reduce fatigue, and enhance performance.

The mechanical hinge is the most important part of the bionic Levitation brace. Energy is stored in the hinge itself when the knee bends, and is then released in customizable increments when the knee is straightened. By supporting motion and strength in the knee, Levitation reduces compression in the joint and increases both performance and endurance. Levitation also assists muscle function in quadriceps for a boost in strength and mobility.

Spring Loaded Technology has been working on their bionic brace for the past three years. “What we are really doing is making highly advanced exoskeleton technology, that was once inaccessible to the consumer market, readily available,” said Chris Cowper-Smith, award-winning scientist and CEO of Spring Loaded Technology. The company believes the Levitation brace will be suitable for professional athletes in any sport, particularly in high-impact activities where joints take the hit. Skiiers, for example, will be able to use the brace to focus on form and technique while on the slopes.

Beyond professional athletics, Spring Loaded Technology hopes Levitation will also become useful for individuals with knee injuries in any profession. The bionic brace can help those with specific knee injuries, or osteoarthritis sufferers with bone and joint issues more generally. As a physical therapy device, Levitation could help those with movement disabilities or injuries that require ongoing training for full recovery. Levitation is expected to cost about $2,000, which places it in the same price range as non-bionic medical knee braces.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Puro’s kids headphones don’t just sound great, they help prevent hearing damage

Puro Sound Labs' PuroQuiet headphones are a pair of noise-canceling over-ears that are designed for young listeners, allowing them to jam out to their favorite tunes, but limiting volume to avoid long-term hearing damage.
Gaming

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse — and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? The best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Poor indoor air quality can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants to help you breathe easier when you're indoors.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…