Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Is it Real or is it Memorex?


Are you old enough to remember the Memorex commercials? Was it Aretha Franklin singing a high note? Both the tape and the person broke the glass? This time the question is, which one is the bionic hand?

This technology represents a major milestone in the effort to provide amputees with limbs that work as well or better than the originals. It's called the i-Limb (sorry Steve Jobs, they got the name first) and it is the world's most advanced bionic hand.

It attempts to solve a difficult problem with artificial hands, and that is the absence of tactile feedback to the brain which tells the user when enough pressure has been applied. It uses a feature called stall detection to prevent crushing delicate objects, like other hands. Another feature is its modularity, allowing fingers to be swapped out in minutes.

As they become even more effective, artificial limbs will eventually surpass the original versions, at which point they will become a more attractive option for replacing an undamaged limb.

[via Wired]

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Anonymous said...

It was Ella Fitzgerald singing the high note. :)