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A 31-year-old man with the world’s first mind-controlled artificial legs has scaled the 103 flights of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, in Chicago in a slow but steady 53 minutes and nine seconds.

Zac Vawter’s bionic leg utilises targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), which means the nerves which have been severed are connected to working muscles.

For Vawter, the nerves from his missing lower leg go through to his hamstring and with the electrical impulses from there he now controls his prosthetic leg.

Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower (Getty images)  

The leg cost $8m and has two motors to power the knee and ankle independently.

Vawter explained to Associated Press that usually, he would “have to take every step with my good foot first and sort of lift or drag the prosthetic leg up. With the bionic leg, it’s simple, I take stairs like I used to, and can even take two at a time.”

Find out more about the project on the RIC (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) website.

Image via Getty


Video: Man with mind-controlled bionic leg climbs 103 floors of Chicago skyscraper
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