How are Bio-Robo Inter Limb Cordination in Prosthetics Improving Human Lives?
Aarnav Maitreya | March 03, 2021
Think about a person who is a chef or a sculptor or a painter who lost his/her arm in an accident or a nature lover who loves roaming through the fields & gardens on bright sunny mornings whose foot had to be amputated because of gangrene. How devastated would these people be in life after such a loss which endangers their professional life or their hobbies? Think about a daily wage earner who works in a factory with heavy and risky equipment like a lathe machine, how would his life turn out to be without a limb? Hell! Even the loss of a single finger or a toe would be devastating for any normal person, let alone a leg or an arm. Thus a few decades back, science came up with a concept known as prosthetics which is a term which we are familiar with. Prosthetics, we can all agree, to some extent have helped such people lead a comparatively better life with a false arm or leg instead of no arm or leg at all & to be fair, prosthetics have curbed the extent of disability amongst people who suffered a loss of their body part or people who were born disabled
However, the chef who lost an arm wouldn’t be satisfied with a normal prosthetic limb as it won’t be sufficient to pick up an egg and crack it. Similarly, a painter won’t be satisfied with a routine prosthetic arm as it won’t allow him/her to pick up a brush and stroke it steadily on a canvas and that might ruin the painting. So, even though normal prosthetics are better than having absolutely nothing, they are not good enough. Thus necessity took its course and scientists came up with a Bio-Robo coordinated concept of prosthetics. How are Bio-Robo Inter Limb Cordination in Prosthetics Improving Human Lives? Bio-medical engineers of various universities in the US are making such prosthetics which can move with the thoughts of the amputees and the person will even be able to feel a sensation of touch via a network of electrodes implanted in the muscles of the patient. The University of Utah in the US came up with the first of such prosthetics which turned out to be successful. Now imagine the situation, the patient could control the robo arm with just his will power and thought process and just like a normal person’s arm, the robo hand would know how to pick up an egg without squeezing too hard or how to stroke a brush on a canvas without spilling too much paint on it. So even though we can bet that such an arm won’t be as good as the original arms we are born with, these kind of robo-prosthetics are the best chance the amputees have got. We can all agree that people like these need more accuracy and precision rather than just an arm right?
The complex mathematical algorithms which connect the robotic arm with the senses of the person via an array of electrodes make the prosthetic almost as good as a regular human limb. However, what do we need to do in order to increase the number of such prosthetics? Research need more researchers, more Bio-Med engineers, more mathematicians and for that more and more sections of the youth need to be made aware of such possibilities in the future. Can’t we raise this awareness to put more smiles on the faces of patients like Nigel Ackland who lost his limb in an accident and has now become an example of what biomedical prosthetics can do?
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