Great stuff; could be boon to the elderly as well.
Going to hold off on building that wheelchair ramp.
Hope they add a Combo 2 style plug for quick re-charges.
A neuroprosthetic robotic suit controlled by brain signals has allowed a paralysed man walk again for the first time, according to new research published in The Lancet Neurology. The 28-year-old patient has tetraplegia resulting from a spinal cord injury that stops the nervous system from moving all four limbs. Doctors and …
I'm told that at best I should be a quadriplegic and at worst I shouldn't be able to breathe due a tumour on my spinal cord so reading articles like this always piques my interest. If the paralysis was to occur (and assuming I could still breathe) it is probably way too early in the research to be of any use for me but it does provide hope for the future for people who may be in that position.
Because that's just the way nature works, we've only developed ethics and morals to counterbalance the immediate self interest motive.
The path that this technology will take is fairly straightforward, tetraplegics can now walk, more complex nerve functions will follow. The end position will be that as long as the brain itself can be sustained we will be able to build hardware or grow body parts to replace everything else.
How long can we sustain a brain, will we find a way to replace neurons & their links insitu?
Seriously - if you're a tetraplegic then you're already in hell as far as "bodily functions" are concerned. This is a fantastic step forward. As the technology progresses, this will get to the stage where severely people will be able to regain that bit of dignity where they can wipe their own arses, rather than having to rely on someone else to do that for them.
The fact that this doesn't seem to be catered for in the prototype is the least of their worries.
Seriously hope this research carries on! For actual disabled people and not just super soldiers.
You never know if that's what this research would be for. To turn otherwise disabled people into "superhumans" for some other purpose. Certainly, it would be nice to see alternatives like the "Brainships" in "The Ship Who Sang" or Major Kusanagi in "Ghost in the Shell".
When you start looking into how neuromechanical control works you realise there's a lot more to it than the brain, muscles and some wiring in between.
A lot of muscular control and sensory feedback handling is embedded in central pattern generators in the spinal cord. Lots of autonomous actions and interactions that don't even need input from up top. Stuff like leg and foot motion, motor response and gait is driven by this layer not the brain.
So hopefully they've put their work into detecting intent and built the fine control and feedback into the hardware itself, because that's how the original systems work.
First of all this is excellent progress. Is it too much to hope for that governments (part) fund this sort of research so it can benefit everyone who needs it once main stream technology? The worry I have is if it is carried out solely by private companies it will become a product for the rich only.
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