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Florida University Helps People With Prosthetics Play Video Games

For all you gamers out there who unfortunately may have lost the use of a limb and have been left unable to play your favorite video games, soon you may be able to dive back into your favorite video with a new technology developed by The University of Central Florida developed a new technology that allows users to operate a game controller through muscle movements, which sends signals to the sensors.

The signals allow users to jump, smash, and do any other movements with video game characters, aside from being fun and giving children a sense of having their limbs back, the other purpose of the technology and the video game is to get children without their limbs to train their muscles for new prosthetics. The first of these games was tested by 9-year-old Alex Pring who was given a robotic arm, engineered by Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit organization devoted to using their knowledge and passion for technology to create bionic limbs for those with disabilities.

The arm was built two years ago and was dubbed the “Iron Man” arm, and was delivered to young Alex (who has a love of superheroes especially Iron Man) by actor Robert Downey Jr. who’s known for his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Avengers and Iron Man movies. The arm was partly built by college student, Albert Manero who builds and donates low-cost, 3D-printed bionic arms to kids around the world. The video game only works with a select few of games so far, one of the titles is known as Smash Bro. The game works by connecting to Alex’s muscles and reading his muscle contractions and causing the main character Smash Bro to move left and right to smash his enemies.

Manero has stated in a small showcase where Alex demonstrated how the game works while Manero explained the workings behind it, that he will be showcasing his new technology at the White House. Alex has had two updates to the arm in order for it to suit him better but overall the arm has been working perfectly for him, bit Alex’s fun didn’t stop there he given the opportunity to visit the set of Avengers: Civil War where he was able to go inside of a jet and a truck and wear the different helmets of Iron Man. Alex is very pleased with his new arm and even states that “it was the greatest gift in the whole entire world that I could have ever gotten.” Alex is very pleased with his new arm and hopefully as the technology advances more kids around the world will be able to have their very own “Iron Man” arm, or leg or any limb they choose, maybe they’ll even make some based on the Hulk!

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