Advancement in bionic development are happening quickly. Amputees and others born without a limb now have robotic attachments available that can handle a variety of functions. This is an entirely new technology, however start up companies are popping up and heavy investment is taking place.
New bionic limbs are hitting the market that respond to nerve signals from the body at the point of attachment. The Coapt system is one such system, and their product can receive signals from arm movements, reading the users desired action, and then operating to fulfill a task.
CEO Blair Lock starting working with amputee patients and came to the realization that prosthetics would be more efficient if they could pick up signals from the body. Now tapping into that technology, Lock suggests it provides “a much more natural, more intuitive method of control using [bio-electronic] signals.”
Coapt’s arm can crack fresh pepper, hold playing cards, open a beverage, as well as other tasks, all by reading what the user wants it to do through the nerves. The company’s prosthetic limbs “cost about $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the amount of customization needed” Wired reports. Designs are thus still developing and much work is yet to be done before it hits the marketplace.
However, these advancement quickly may have one thinking about the potential. Bionics are advancing towards being on par with real organic limbs. How much longer until limb replacements are as seamless as The Empire Strikes Back?
Will the day come whenever a fully functional organic limb is deemed second rate? It could eventually be seen as an upgrade to go cyborg. The new Deus Ex Mankind Divided highlights some conceptual possibilities for what this could look like.
The future is open and inviting. Significant process is already being made. A cyborg future may not just be for patients in need, but may eventually be desired as an attractive alternative.