Crossing machine intelligence, robotics, and medicine, Patrick Pilarski (@patrickpilarski) is working on smart prosthetic limbs.
Build your own learning robot references: Weka Data Mining Software in Java for getting to know your data, OpenIA Gym for understanding reinforcement learning algorithms, Robotis Servos for the robot (AX is the lower priced line), and five lines of code:
Patrick even made us a file (with comments and everything!).
Machine Man by Max Barry
Snow Country by Bokushi Suzuki
Aimee Mullins and her many amazing legs (TED Talk)
Patrick is a professor at University of Alberta, though a lot more than that: he is the Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation at the University of Alberta, and Assistant Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a principal investigator with both the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and the Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (RLAI). See his TED talk: Intelligent Artificial Limbs.