Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

7/26/2005

Bionic Arm

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

“We can rebuild him.”
Researchers have hit the Next Big Thing in prosthetics: a bionic arm that feels. According to this article on the Chicago Tribune website, biomedical researchers have come up with an artificial arm that has sensors built in which allow its user to feel. The “fellings” are actually relayed to a tiny computer, which in turn relays the signals to “plungers” in the prosthetic’s harness. These “plungers” stimulate nerves which are interpreted by the brain as being attached to the hand. It allowed an experimental patient to “feel” someone touching the back of his “hand”. The sensors and relays are sensitive and accurate enough to let the patient identify individual fingers and tell researchers which one was being stimulated.
An amazing development that, to me, reads like science-fiction. No wonder William Gibson has all but given up writing science-fiction and slid into general fiction with Pattern Recognition. Everyday life has become science-fiction!

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