Prosthetic limbs and other artificial body parts have come a long way in the last 10 to 20 years, and many on the market and under development today can restore nearly the same functions as the human body parts they’re replacing -- or even improve upon them.
Developers from a London-based robotics company Shadow Robot -- at the behest of London-based television production company Darlow Smithson Productions -- recently undertook a project to see how much of a replica of a human could be built using prosthetic body parts.
The result -- called the
Bionic Man -- rebuilt about two-thirds of a walking, talking human with an array of prosthetic parts, including a blood-pumping, beating artificial heart.
Click on the image below to open a slideshow of some of the prosthetics used to create the Bionic Man, as well as other cutting-edge designs in artificial body parts.
Rex Bionics has developed a robotic leg system that provides people bound to a wheelchair the ability to stand up and walk unaided by crutches or braces. The system includes 29 onboard computer processors that control movement and balance through joystick control, allowing the Rex user to direct the device to sit, stand, walk, and turn easily. The robotic legs can even walk up steps and up or down slopes. (Source: Rex Bionics)
I saw an article some time back, similar type of work is going on in Japan as well. The difference is that there prosthetic robot is wearable and adds to the mechanical advantage in walking and lifting as well. Making it somewhat autonomous.
Excellent slide show. I think as medical technology progresses, we will see definite improvements relative to interlinking prosthetics to existing tissues, nerves, muscles, etc etc. It appears to me that we are headed in that direction already. I think of the thousands of veterans coming home with injuries from combat and hope that day arrives very quickly.
This article reminds me of an article that I read three years back. It was about the development of robotic suits to help people with locomotion. The suit was designed to read nerve messages and help perform those actions through the help of a robotic suit. The suit was still in testing stages but the result did show promising signs.
Great slide show! I didn't realize how far artifical medical technology has progressed over the years. I found the Natcore Technology to be intriquing in the fact the artificial retina uses harvesting technology via solar power energy to operate the eye. Just curious interms of the artifical retina's response with the absence of light. Do you know if there is some type of electrical storage device that alllows it to operate in darkeness?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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