Steve Collins / Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a way to tune an exoskeleton to a person's unique body structure and movements, allowing them to spend significantly less energy while walking in the device.

Why it's needed: Exoskeletons promise to help people lift heavy objects or run farther but so far have been one-size-fits-all, an approach that can require users to expend more energy as the body adjusts, compensates and otherwise tries to make the prosthetic device work.

What they did: 11 people wearing ankle exoskeletons equipped with sensors walked on a treadmill while engineers measured how much energy they expended and algorithms gathered data about how each ankle rotated, and the timing of how it rose and fell during walking. The personalized exoskeletons were able to identify which ankle movements needed to be better supported so that the person could expend less energy as they walked. Overall, the volunteers in the study experienced a 24% reduction in the amount of energy they used during walking with the personalized exoskeletons around their ankles.

What's next: It will be awhile before we all have personalized exoskeletons, but this study shows how flexible materials combined with artificial intelligence systems can be used to tailor the devices. The next big advance will likely come from refined 3D printing that could be used to print customized systems.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 31,201,975 — Total deaths: 963,068— Total recoveries: 21,356,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 6,833,931 — Total deaths: 199,815 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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