Can the latest robotic arm prosthesis give an exciting new hope to the disabled?
Will robotic arm prosthesis give them not only ability but more capability, more strength and more power?
Will robotic arm prosthesis make them “super humans”?
There were some amputees who managed life well and even succeeded without arm prosthetic. However, most of them still considered of having artificial arm/s. Probably, for aesthetic purposes. Besides that, the main reason could also be their desire of independence. The ability, the freedom to do things by themselves.
An artificial arm can help improve their ability to be in control of their daily activities. Activities such as eating, drinking, grooming, dressing and reaching for things. For those who lost limbs through accidents or sickness, their reasons could be deeper. They could see the arm prosthesis as their way of rehabilitation to function and feel themselves as before.
There are those who were born without limbs as a result of a rare congenital disorder. They were left with no choice but to accept and live with what they have and do not have. Therefore, since birth they have dealt and acquired the training and skill of living their life in the best way possible even without those limbs. In a addition, a great influencing factor could be the loving family and supporting environment they grow up with.
However, there are those who lost a hand, hands, arm or arms due to some accidents, unavoidable circumstances or illnesses like diabetes. On the one hand, they are those who have to deal with the trauma of having to live without their precious limb. On the other hand, there is a feeling of void that wants satisfaction. Hence, the desire to replace or fill the gap caused by the lost limb were actually common.
Strutting Wooden Prosthetics
Even in the earliest centuries prosthetic already existed. A wooden toe of an Egyptian mummy was the earliest record of prosthesis discovered. There was the famous artificial toe called Cairo Toe. It was the Greville Chester Toe created by the Egyptians around 600 B.C. We also have the famous Capua Leg. It was a European made artificial leg with a wooden core.
These early prosthetic were mainly for aesthetics purposes and not for function. Some were of wood while some were out of metal or a combination of both. Hence, throughout all history there were series of record how some geniuses designed and shaped prosthetics.
Fighting With An Iron Hand
When ordinary people lost their limbs, the prosthetic’s main purpose is for appearance. However, when you are a soldier and at war, the desire for a replacement of the lost limb is stronger. It is not only for appearance but a device to aid them to continue the fight.
One of the first successful and functional model of an iron prosthetic hand was shown in a record in 77AD. It was made for a Roman general who lost his arm in a war. The artificial hand tied to his arm enabled him to successfully return to battle.
Another triumphant case was that of a German knight named Götz Von Berlichingen who received a prosthesis made by an artisan. That said prostheses allowed him to rein his horse, hold his weapon and return to combat. The artificial hand designed and modeled as part of his fighting armor. It has thick leather straps for attachment to his armor.
Body Powered Prosthetic Arm
Prior to the development of robotic arm prosthesis, there were already theories of a moving prostheses. In the early 1800s, German dentist Peter Baliff was the first to have the theory of a prostheses doing action through natural body motion.
Specifically, by applying some traction to the leather straps or harness, the muscles of the torso and shoulders draw out movement to the prosthesis.
As a result, this made way for an amputee to make the artificial part to move using his body power for the first time.
Moreover, in the 1860s, in France, the soldiers who lost their limbs adapted this design. The artificial device can make simple movements like opening and closing the hand.
In the early 1900s, the amputees were already using their prosthetic to hold their teacups and get a match stick. Regrettably, only a few could afford such prosthesis because of its costly price.
The myoelectric prosthesis is the early version of robotic arm prosthesis. It resembles the body-powered prosthesis only with electrical power sources. This kind of prosthetic is no longer powered by the amputee’s muscle strength. But by the natural electricity produced by the muscles through traction on the muscles nerves. It also has batteries for the motors used in the prosthetic. Also, it came with a cover that mimics the skin tone of the owner.
After years of continuous development, the materials used on myoelectric prosthesis improved. It became lighter, efficient and safer. Its power sources also progressed from compressed gas to rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Moreover, a preferred silicone hand and skin covers made the unattractive wires hidden. In the 1980s, this became known and widely used in the world. And became a conventional choice as prosthetic limb.
Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Prosthesis
In 1993, the world’s first robotic arm prosthesis or bionic arm known as Edinburg Modular Arm System (EMAS). That took the spotlight as a mark of a breakthrough. It became a sign of advancement in bio-engineering and technology. A team of at least five bio-engineers and a surgical team led by Dr. David Gow created this incredible device. Generally, it has microchips, gears, pulleys, motors, sensors and skin-like cover.
Specifically, Robert Campbell Aird from UK was the first man who wore and used this device. Robert was a muscular cancer survivor amputee. He could take control of the robotic arm through a cap worn on his head.
Through the electrical brain signals sent to and received by his bionic arm he could move his shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. This bionic arm literally transformed and changed Robert’s life for the better. On the whole, he said that he had a marvelous moment when he was able to reach and pick a book from the shelf above his head after 16 years.
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Becoming An Exciting Phenomenon
Modern day robotic arm prosthesis, known as myoelectric prosthesis or bionic arms, already went a long way from merely just being a filler of something lost to something both functional and fancy. They are now even affordable which clearly gives new hope to a lot of amputees.
Recently, robotic arm prosthesis are gaining popularity. Some see it as a cool and amazing invention. And I actually think so, too. But beyond that, I can sense how these prosthesis brought some pure joy and hope to its recipients.
I watched a few videos on Youtube about robotic arm prosthesis. And I was truly awestruck. The technologies behind these robotic arm prosthesis are simply astonishing and incredible.
I cannot help but feel proud for the engineers, programmers and everyone involved in this project. They really did an astounding work. Not to mention, this will surely bring a huge change in a lot of lives.
I also feel happy for the recipients of such inventions. It is going to be life-changing for them. Literally, I could not contain my excitement when I see the smiles on their faces.
- Perfect Fit. Each person can have his or her robotic arm prosthesis fitted, made and formed perfectly for them.
- Multi-Grip Control. The fingers have its own motors allowing the user to have easy and flexible grip control.
- Static Mode. The immovable or stationary mode allowing the user to have a reliable grasp when grabbing something.
- Plug and Play. The prosthetic is no longer strapped like before but an attachable and detachable one like a glove. Therefore, users can conveniently wear and take them off.
- Cool Covers. It now does not come with fake skin like cover but a choice of cool fancy covers. They can choose any color/s that fit their taste. Furthermore, they can even choose from character themed covers like iron man and star wars. Also, these covers are changeable. Hence, the users can have variety of covers that would suit their mood and style.
- Affordable.The most wonderful thing is its affordable price. So today’s bionic arms are not just comfortable, controllable, adjustable but even affordable.
It is a fact that whenever we see or meet somebody without limb/s we unintentionally feel pity for them. Unconsciously, we almost as always offer them our assistance. Unknowingly, making them feel more “disabled”.
This unwittingly give them a feeling of hopelessness. Our unsolicited care and help sometimes bring them pain.
The old prosthesis could not be of much help either. Its lack of functionality just hid the sad fact of what they lost or don’t have. Thus, making them feel more frustrated,
However, this changed when robotic arm prosthesis arrived. This new innovation certainly brought new possibility and hope to them.
Certainly, possessing a robotic arm prosthesis is life changing. Something that they can easily control and functions according to their needs. Not only make it according to their individuality but also have it resemble Iron Man or Star Wars. They can even have with just cool metallic colors, This surely gives them a new hope and new found self-confidence.
One person said that if before whenever he meet somebody the first question would be, “How did it happen?” However, after sporting the modern robotic arm prosthesis, it changed to “How does it work?” It surely gave him a boost to proudly show off what his new arm can do.
The change in the attitude and how people see them with this new robotic arm prosthetic absolutely change something. From being seen as a disable to someone with cool super ability!
In the end, although with robotic arm prosthesis or without I am proud and happy for them for living life at their best. There are those who defied the limits of their condition and lived beyond our expectations. There are famous armless people who managed to excel in fields that even those who have both limbs have the difficulty attaining. We have famous armless archer, wrestler, fitness model, painter, pianist, guitarist even a pilot to name a few! They are such an inspiration and really deserve our admiration.
Is the Robotic Arm Prosthesis an exciting new hope for those with arm disabilities?
In my opinion, NO DOUBT, IT IS!!!
Will it give them not only ability but more capability, more strength and more power?
As of now, the bionic arm allows them to grip, grab, rotate their shoulders, bend their elbows, wrist and fingers, hold a drink, write, catch a ball, do grooming and other things that we commonly do with our hands and arms.
In terms of more capability, strength and power physically through their bionic arms, I don’t think so. For the reason that this bionic arm is dependent on the natural electrical power that comes from the individual and some batteries for the motors inside the prosthesis.
Will it make them “super humans”?
I think they are “super humans” already. Even before having the bionic arm they are already super humans. Not with super powers but with the super will and super positive attitude to live life to the fullest even with their lack of limb or limbs.
What do you think?
Please leave your comment below.