Thought-powered bionic arm ‘like something from space’

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The idea of an amputee tinkling on piano keys with all the flair and grace of an able-handed person may seem like a futuristic fantasy.


But watch Johnny Matheney effortlessly arch and extend each finger on his bionic arm and you can't help but agree with him when he says: "The future is coming now."

Its makers describe Matheney's robotic limb as the most sophisticated of its kind in the world, recreating virtually every movement of a natural arm — and all controlled by brain power.

"When they took my arm I never thought I would have an actual hand — I saw the hooks and thought that was exactly what I would be getting," said Matheney, who lost his left arm to cancer in 2008.

"So once they introduced me to this, it was like something out of space come to Earth."

Written By: Nick Glass and Lianne Turner
continue to source article at cnn.com

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  1. Such an arm can continue to evolve. It is only a matter of time until it is superior to the original biological arm.

    Imagine being piecemeal replaced with a such prostheses, including internal organs. Imagine being fitted with some extra high speed RAM, an arithmetic unit, an Internet interface. You would experience more per unit time. You might be ready to pack it in within a day having experienced far more than any biological being would in a lifetime.

    • As a diabetic I can’t wait for progress in prostheses – in particular an artificial pancreas – only a matter of time I am sure but progress has been slow. The problem for the medical supply companies is that things like this would be a one off cure rather than an ongoing supply and therefore charging to recover research costs could be an issue.

      In reply to #2 by Roedy:

      Such an arm can continue to evolve. It is only a matter of time until it is superior to the original biological arm.

      Imagine being piecemeal replaced with a such prostheses, including internal organs. Imagine being fitted with some extra high speed RAM, an arithmetic unit, an Internet interface….

  2. I hate to lower the tone (but I cannot resist, I am so weak), I have to ask, what do you think the first thing an amputee with a new hand will do, once he gets it home?

    On a more acceptable note, I do hope they paint them red and gold, like Iron man’s armour.

  3. OK, suppose you get one hand replaced, and the software running it crashes. You could still use the other (assuming it was the original you came with) to press Ctl+Alt+Del to reboot it. Not so easily done if you got both hands replaced.

    • In reply to #5 by rod-the-farmer:

      OK, suppose you get one hand replaced, and the software running it crashes. You could still use the other (assuming it was the original you came with) to press Ctl+Alt+Del to reboot it. Not so easily done if you got both hands replaced.
      Isn’t the brain the software in this case? If that crashes, you’re screwed anyway.

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