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Biomechatronics is an applied interdisciplinary science that aims to integrate mechanical elements, electronics and parts of biological organisms. Biomechatronics includes the aspects of biology, mechanics and electronics. It also encompasses the fields of robotics and neuroscience.
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One example of Biomechatronics is a study done by Hugh Herr, a professor at MIT. Herr excised the muscles of frog legs, to attach to a mechanical fish and by pulsing electrical current through the muscle fibers; he caused the fish to swim. The goal of these experiments is to make devices that interact with human muscle, skeleton and nervous systems. The end result is that the devices will help with human motor control that was lost or impaired by trauma, disease or birth defects. Biomechatronics is how the human body works. For example, four different steps must occur to be able to lift the foot to walk. First, impulses from the motor center of the brain are sent to the foot and leg muscles. Next the nerve cells in the feet send information to the brain telling it to adjust the muscle groups or amount of force required to walk across the ground. Different amounts of force are applied depending on the type of surface being walked across. The leg's muscle spindle nerve cells then sense and send the position of the floor back up to the brain. Finally, when the foot is raised to step, signals are sent to muscles in the leg and foot to set it down. Biosensors are used to detect what the user wants to do or their intentions and motions. In some devices, the information can be relayed by the user's nervous system or muscle system. This information is related by the biosensor to a controller which can be located inside or outside the biomechatronic device. In addition, biosensors receive information about the limb position and force from the limb and actuator.
Bionics involves the study of biological systems in order to develop artificial systems that can replicate their functions. Bionic implants are mechanical or electronic systems that function like living organisms or parts of living organisms. Bionics, when extended to the field of medicine, seeks to replace or enhance organs or parts of the human body using artificial prosthesis. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2012 to 2017 to reach $17.82 billion by 2017.
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This page was last updated on 15th Sep, 2015
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