As with our fortnightly Interactive Interlude (where we send out the most exciting and innovative examples of digital technology happening all over the world) we’re keen to see how technology can change and improve the lives of ordinary people. Here are 3 examples of digital developments in prosthetics doing some good in the world!
Developments in prosthetics are coming a long way and currently represent a high growth area in the tech world. Now those innovators at Stanford University have come up with the latest in ‘artificial skin’. Previously developments in this type of prosthetics have evolved around only offering a functional replacement for limbs, the next step in artificial skin hopes to be more intuitive in recreating the full emotional responses of the limbs as well. This will ultimately help restore someone’s sense of touch!
We’ve often said that some of the best innovations and technological developments start in the military and new launches in prosthetics are no different. DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) continue the theme of becoming more ‘intuitive’. Their new prosthetic hands connect directly to the brain meaning that as well as ‘feeling’ objects with the hands the user will also be able to control the artificial limbs with thought, a global first in prosthetics being controlled primarily by the mind.
Hugh Herr, Head of the Biomechatronics Group at MIT’s Media Lab and am amputee himself has developed bionic limbs which have helped revolutionise life for himself and others. Having lost both his legs over 30 years ago to frostbite Herr has developed sophisticated bionic limbs which are more intuitive and replicate the human experience more fully. His computerised ankle-foot system BiOM, imitates real flesh and blood, propelling user to take physically take steps forward.