It’s hard to keep up with all the developments in the bionics and cybernetics worlds: so many universities and private institutions are working on so many projects that by the time you report one, another has leapfrogged it. PBS News Hour has put together a nice little survey of the current tech, interviewing Dean Kamen and a number of other inventors and researchers in the field. Feeling out of… → Read More
Body augmentation and limb replacement are just hugely interesting fields right now. We’ve got bionic legs, bionic eyes, even bionic cats. Bionic hands have been a troublesome topic for research because of the inadequacy of current technology in replicating fine motor control. This arm, being wielded by a young Austrian fellow who lost the use of his hand in an accident, isn’t quite perfect, but… → Read More
Back in the 1960′s, GE was developing something called the “Hardiman” – a mechanical exoskeleton designed to move heavy things around. Fast forward to the future. A certain Weyland-Yutani corporation uses pretty much the same technology to haul cargo around a ship’s hold. Coincidence? Or does GE eventually become the evil corporation responsible for the Alien… → Read More
This particular technology is actually much simpler than those electronic solutions, because it addresses a simpler problem. Degeneration of the retina around the macula can make central vision blurry… → Read More
Devices straight out of science fiction are entering our lives with regularity nowadays. And although the wonder is gone from the continual shrinking of our phones and media players and the growth of our displays, one field that retains its interest is that of cybernetics. Apart from the name just sounding cool, the idea of replacing or augmenting our mortal frame with machines is too compelling… → Read More
Remember the Eyeborg guy we told you about a couple weeks ago? Well, as expected when you’re a scrappy little team trying to make scientific history, there have been some setbacks. You may have seen on in the video, you know, with the smoke? Well, the main guy decided that in the meantime they should at least get something in there. And of course it’s a Terminator-style LED.
(Caution: disturbing… → Read More
This British kid was involved in an accident whereby he was “degloved” — a polite way of saying his hand was torn off.
Luckily, the damage was of a type that enabled a bionic arm to be fitted, and now he’s one of the first in the UK to have a muscle-enervated mechanical prosthesis… installed (there’s no other word for it). → Read More
Or something like that. This little news item is far more homegrown and far less momentous than the bionic eye we posted about some time ago, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. For one thing, the goal is different: this woman doesn’t want sight returned to her missing eye, she just wants to be able to take pictures out of it — which makes things a hell of a lot… → Read More
There’s really no way to describe this story without making it sound like it’s from the future. This lady, who has one of the world’s most advanced bionic arms after losing one in a motorcycle accident, has begun feeling her missing arm again. This is nothing new in itself; phantom limb pain is an established phenomenon as old as amputation. However, this case is different: she… → Read More
Hot Hardware has had their little hands on one of OCZ’s “Neural Impulse Actuator” doodads for a while and they’ve decided to drop a surprisingly positive review on us. Words cannot describe how skeptical I am of the concept, having studied neuroimaging a bit, but behind the highfalutin nonsense in which the NIA is wrapped, there is a limited capacity for coolness that I… → Read More
At the end of this month, after 20 years of operations, all of Eileen Brown major joints except her right elbow will be man made. She has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since she was in her 20s; now 49, she hopes to get her new replacement left hip before her 50th birthday. She had this to say when he got her right hip replaced: “Most people are stuck in bed for about two weeks after… → Read More
That’s what this bionic shopping center simulation reminded me of. Man, Bullfrog was way ahead of its time. This is a cool little flash demo showing some of the many cybernetic parts that are available or forthcoming to the human race. Bionic eyes, exoskeletons, robot arms, and all. There are links within the flash demo to more in-depth articles on teh subjects and IEEE Spectrum is a good… → Read More
I’m not sure I believe this is truly the first in brain-machine interfaces in Japan; after all, we’ve had them in the US for years (I even wrote a paper on them a few years ago). The idea is that an array of microelectrodes attached directly to the surface of the brain gives a more accurate and precise representation of local brain activity, which can allow for better control of, say… → Read More