What Is The Future Of Bionics And Prosthetics?

1422 words - 6 pages

The future is a wonderful thing. How many move and TV shows have shown you what the future would be like? Flying cars, robots, lasers, spaceships, and a hundred other things that you would name. But one thing (other than spaceships) excites me much more than the rest. Bionics. But what is bionics and how is it defined? Bionics is defined as the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. In layman terms that means seeing what nature does and copying it and sometimes even bettering it. Velcro is an application of bionics because it copies burs in how it sticks to things. But what will the future bring? ...view middle of the document...

We have artificial legs that are given to veterans and people who lose a limb in an accident. So one of my questions is when will we get these sci-fi-esque super limbs that work as well of even better than you biological limb. Imagine how great it would be that losing a limb wouldn’t be such a life altering event. You were in a car accident and lost your fight hand? No big deal here is an artificial one that will be stronger, faster, and more dexterous than your original one.
But that leads to another more moral question. If artificial limbs were better than your usual ones why would you just chop off your arm to get a better one? Since this is a more moral question I did a quick search for a poll of how many people would replace their limbs if there was a better option available. Not surprisingly there was not anything I could find. But I did find something.
In an article written by the New York Times they claim that many people suffering from injuries that may cost them a limb actually go ahead with the amputation instead of trying to live with an injured limb. As the author writes “But as artificial limbs are infused with increasingly sophisticated technology, many amputees are making a once-unthinkable choice. Instead of doing everything possible to preserve and live with whatever is left of their limbs, some are opting to amputate more extensively to regain something more akin to normal function.”(CITE). So even though were aren’t completely to the sci-fi level yet people are already opting to get rid of their old limb if they couldn’t live a relatively normal life with it.
But how far are we away from actual sci-fi super limbs and fully functioning organs? Off to MUSUMMON and google I go. I found the treasure trove from Smithsonian’s magazine website. It talks about all of the latest advancements since before September 2013. It also has a surprising fact, the number one cause of lower limb amputations in the United States is not accidents or even war its diabetes. They interviewed Bertolt Myer who has an artificial are called the “i-limb” that while it doesn’t give any feeling or direct control of the limb by flexing the muscles in his upper arm a certain way he can change how the arm grips and moves. The same company that designed his I-limb also designed Bionic Man, from the website “Engineers designed the Bionic Man to enable several of its human-dependent parts to operate without a body. For instance, although the robot is fitted with I-limbs, it doesn’t possess the nervous system or brain to make them work. Instead, the Bionic Man can be controlled remotely via a computer and specially designed interfacing hardware, while a Bluetooth connection can be used to operate the I-limbs. Nonetheless, the robot vividly showcases how much of our bodies can be replaced by circuits, plastic and metal. Adding to the dramatic effect, the Bionic Man’s face is a silicone replica of Meyer’s. Rich Walker, the...

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