One of Obama's last posts while in office showed him fist-bumping a robotic arm. It's actually a prosthetic robotic arm belonging to Nathan Copeland, who can control it with his mind and sense touch with it. Read the rest
Lyon, France-based tattoo artist JC Sheitan Tenet has no right arm. In place of his right hand, he wears custom tattoo machine prostheses he developed with biomechanical sculptor Jean-Louis Gonzal. According to Great Big Story, "the device can pivot 360 degrees and allows Tenet to create abstract designs unlike anyone else."
When I was young in the 1970s, I was blown away by photos of the 1950s battery-powered "bionic" arm invented by IBM engineer SW Alderson. The technology is now more than 60 years old and it still looks futuristic to me. Read the rest
Medical historian Thomas Schlich wrote a fascinating essay for CNN about the history of prosthetic body parts and the "Bionic Men of World War I." From his article:
In all nations involved in the war an emerging generation of so-called "war cripples," as they were referred to in Germany, loomed ominously over the pension and welfare system, and many government bureaucrats, military leaders and civilians worried about their long-term fate.Read the rest
One solution was returning mutilated soldiers to the workforce. Various prostheses were designed to make that possible, pushing prosthesis manufacturing in many countries from a cottage industry towards modern mass production.
In the United States the Artificial Limb Laboratory was established in 1917 at the Walter Reed General Hospital, in conjunction with the Army Medical School, with the goal to give every amputee soldier a "modern limb," enabling them to pass as able-bodied citizens in the workplace. While the United States remained the largest producer of artificial limbs worldwide, Germany's prosthetic developments incorporated a particular quest for efficiency.
German orthopedists, engineers and scientists invented more than 300 new kinds of arms and legs and other prosthetic devices to help. Artificial legs made of wood or metal, sometimes relatively rudimentary, and often recreating the knee-joint in some way, enabled leg-amputees to stand and move around unaided.
A 26-year-old man in Austria who lost the use of his right hand in a motorcycle accident ten years ago has decided to undergo "elective amputation," after which he will be fitted with a bionic hand controlled by nerve signals from his own arm. German prosthetics company Otto Bock makes the bionic hands; BBC News reports the prosthetics can "pinch and grasp in response to signals from the brain that are picked up by two sensors placed over the skin above nerves in the forearm."
This will be the second such surgery performed by Professor Oskar Aszmann, of Vienna.
A 24-year-old Austrian man named Patrick was the first patient in the world to choose to have his hand amputated, again by Professor Aszmann, and a bionic replacement fitted. He lost the use of his left hand after being electrocuted at work.More here, and there's video of the bionic hand in use by Patrick, here.