When will it turn on him and break his neck?
Sorry, had to be done!
A British man who lost his right forearm in an industrial blending accident has been demonstrating a bionic replacement that's sensitive enough to grasp and pick up eggs without cracking them and strong enough to hold his beer. RSLSteeper, the British firm behind the BeBionic3 arm and hand, claim it’s the most advanced …
The most incredible thing about this, is that during the segments when he is cracking the eggs and drinking a beer, he just looks like a bloke cracking an egg and drinking a beer - the prosthesis is so well designed and (more importantly) operated that it disappears into the background and we can just concentrate on what the guy is doing, not how he is doing it.
The prosthetic treads the line between "looks a bit like an arm" and "KILL IT WITH FIRE" beautifully, staying on the right side of the Uncanny Valley.
Ultimately, everyone wants an arm that looks like terminator, so they might as well stop making them look "life-like" and just go with it.
There is a trend here in the states away from faux-real looking prosthetics, at least for replacement leg pieces: Beautiful prosthetic legs that are made to be seen
There's a fella I know with a false lower leg... again, rather than hide it he often wears shorts, and this thing was CNC-milled from a billet of aluminium, anodised green, and has a shock absorber running up the centre... It looks like it belongs to an expensive motorcycle and pretty darned cool. 'Flesh coloured' plastic never does!
Well done him. And I'll bet he had to argue with his fitter to have the cosmetic covering left off. It's a problem we amputees face every time we get a new limb made. Prosthetics companies are so fixated on emulating the organic, they can't really comprehend the concept of us being quite happy to appear a bit robotic, or surreal.
Seriously though. Given a choice between say a carbon fibre shell, and mannequin pink plastic, which finish would you prefer on a prosthetic limb.
>Seriously though. Given a choice between say a carbon fibre shell, and mannequin pink plastic, which finish would you prefer on a prosthetic limb?
That's an easy one John- I'd choose the one that makes me look like the hero out of Crysis! Though I did watch a sci-fi short film, featuring a robot with classical blue-on-white porcelain body panels which looked rather fetching... http://www.robotshop.com/blog/the-gift-from-carl-erik-rinsch-611
Its like the most common form of prosthetic- spectacles... Many people actively choose models with large frames -especially ones with ornate arms- and no-one chooses Caucasian-flesh coloured frames (unless you include the inevitable lad in primary school whose specs have been repaired with a sticking plaster).
Oh i don't know, 25k sounds quite good for a replacement forearm.
Going with this and the prosthetic legs people have these days i guess we know figures when someone says "it costs an arm and a leg"
It doesn't show you how far his amputation is so i'll assume he has his natural elbow and half his forearm.
If i had to have one i think i'd prefer to have a foam-latex or rubber grip on the palm and fingers, the egg-cracking wasn't great (though still impressive) and the beer holding looked like it could slip out but i haven't looked at the arm apart the article and video.
Being interested in prosthetics i did wonder about the use of pain-receptors to sense touch-grip pressure
I'd love an extra arm or two - Beeblebrox style. Then I could type, hold the phone, use the mouse and perhaps pour a drink all at the same time.
It's being worked on at MIT: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628885.800-need-a-hand-wearable-robot-arms-give-you-two.html
As an amputee myself, I get just about every reaction going from people on the street and I understand where he's coming from, but think he has the right approach to it, i.e. not trying to hide it.
Personally, I'm not interested in this kind of technology for myself as I have spent too much time (I was born with mine) and effort learning to cope with it and I only really have problems with video games that require the use of the right shoulder buttons on my XBox controller (and don't give me the option to reconfigure the buttons). People tend to be surprised when they see me doing mundane stuff like carrying pints from the bar, typing, chopping onions. I don't mind surprise, but I can't stand it when people assume I need help and provide it without asking (asking is fine - it's polite and I have the option to politely refuse).
However, I know a lot of people will find the technology improves their lives, so I wish this guy and the developers of the arm the best of luck.
Have you heard of Ben Heck? He's of interest to anyone who likes hacking and modifying hardware, but well known for modifying XBOX controllers for one-handed use. (Sadly, demand is a consequence of recent military forays overseas)
He can build to order, so he could just relocate the shoulder button or whatever, if your prosthetic allows use of the other controls.
Top Bloke. I wonder how long it took to train the muscles to control the hand. I'd expect it to be the most difficult part of the process, but perhaps not that much different from what they already have to go through with physical therapy after a traumatic accident.
I'm curious about how long the battery lasts, I suppose it'll be a battery race, hand or smartphone ?
Of course you could put a bigger battery in the arm, an usb plug, and chard the phone from the arm. Or just embed the smartphone in the arm,
Or a laser.
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