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Bionic Man Whoops Willis Tower’s Ass


Zac Vawter has a prosthetic leg. What do you do when you only have one leg? Oh, you know, you scale Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). Why not? But there’s a lot more to this story than just willpower. There’s also some killer science.

Vawter lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2009. When he got his prosthetic, doctors did something different — they attached the prosthesis to the (gah!) “dangling nerves” that would send signals to his leg past the knee.

Which means, his prosthetic leg is actually bionic — meaning, his brain controls the mechanical part of him. Like Luke Skywalker’s frickin’ hand. And to prove how badass this advancement is, Zac decides to walk up all of Willis Tower’s 2,109 stairs.

I’ve got all my arms and limbs and I’m already exhausted by this. My body is but flesh and bone and my will is weak. The thirty-one year old’s scientific marvel is considered by researchers to be the first neural-controlled bionic leg.

We’re living in the damn future, guys. We’ve got phones so sophisticated the technology could control the damn Space Shuttle. We have instant global communication all the damn time. And now we can not only give people new mechanical legs, but we can connect that piece of machinery to their brains.

Meanwhile, nerds across the globe are looking very intently at their hand and a hacksaw. Don’t do it. Just… put the saw down. Back away. We’re not there yet, go play some video games. No! You can’t hook your brain up to your XBOX. Well, technically you can, but no. Stop.

Medical miracles are for people that need it, not for folks who want to cut their hands off and get a robot arm. Besides, we don’t have lightsabers yet. And we probably won’t for a while. Leave it alone.

Question: What’s the next big leap forward?