Bionic Man Nearly a Reality: Gamer-inspired Prosthetic Arm & Blind Man Sees After 40 Years

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by dgstorm, May 18, 2016.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    [​IMG]

    Many of you are probably too young to remember the old 70's TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man, but for those who did watch the show, you probably have fond memories. It looks like we are moving rapidly closer to a world in which The Bionic Man could be very real. We have a double Off Topic story for you today smashed into one.

    We found a story about a man who has been blind for 40 years suddenly being given sight with a bionic eye, and we also found another story about an amputee named James who was given a gamer-inspired, high-tech prosthetic arm. Let's talk about that arm first. You definitely need to check out the pictures of the arm in the thread below, because the aesthetics are a world better than the typical stuff we have seen in the past.

    But a fancy comic-book inspired design isn't all this arm is about. It also has several very useful and high tech features beyond the obvious. First of all, this bionic arm is actually partially connected to the nerves and muscles in his shoulder, and its sensors are designed to translate muscle movements through the skin of his shoulder to interpret his "commands" to grasp things.

    What's especially impressive is that the hand's fine motor movement is a big advancement over the typical prosthetic. The arm is battery powered, and the hand can actually pick up tiny objects, like coins, with dexterity. That's not all though. The arm also includes a flashlight, a laser light and a USB port in the wrist that James can charge his phone with. The really unique feature is that James' arm also includes its own watch and has a remote controlled drone fitted on a panel on the outside of the shoulder!

    Supposedly, the design was inspired by a character from the console game Metal Gear Solid. In fact, James was able to become the guinea pig for this device by answering an add from gaming company Konami. The arm and hand was actually designed by a firm called Open Bionics, but apparently the experiment was bankrolled by Konami. Just awesome! (Here's a link for more info: The man with the most amazing arm in Britain)

    The second cybernetic story to share today may not be as fancy and sci-fi focused, but it's actually a bit more scientifically miraculous. John Jameson in Tatum, Texas can see now, even though he has been blind for over 40 years! This is all thanks to a brand new bionic eye implant that is at the cutting edge in biotech. So far, the only complaint Jameson has is that he sometimes experiences double-vision as his brain adjusts to the new implant. Despite that, he exclaims that he feels like a kid on Christmas morning every single day! (BGR)

    What a unique time it is to be alive. The wonders of modern science are moving so quickly, it's starting to seem like magic!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    Here are those bionic arm pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Sajo

    Sajo Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    11,352
    Likes Received:
    7,090
    Trophy Points:
    1,863
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Ratings:
    +7,600
    Current Phone Model:
    Moto Droid Z Force
    Absolutely amazing!

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Vepaot

    Vepaot Silver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    KCMO
    Ratings:
    +258
    Current Phone Model:
    LG G5 (LS992)
    The media is blowing the bionic arm way out of proportion. If you watch the 2 part BBC article online, James has trouble getting the arm to respond most days, so it's a 10 lb paperweight attached to one side of his body. On top of that, he broke one of the fingers picking up basket with a couple of items in it at the grocery store.

    With the research on the arm being privately funded, it makes sense that they would market it after a video game, especially one like Metal Gear...since video games are popular and it's an easy way to get it into the media. But at the same time, I feel bad for the guy. If you watch the documentary, you see him modeling the arm (when it's not functioning) while various photographers take tons of photographs as he plays around with the controller (which he has to use his real hand for) for the drone.

    I'm not honestly sure how I feel about it. If it helps people in the end, I guess it's a good thing. But at the same time it seems like they're over sensationalizing something that might have needed some more time on the draft board.

    ---“The arm, it's not ready. It's been forced into the public eye and it's not even ready yet,” James says. “I mean, it needs to take its first steps, but it can't walk. It can't even crawl.”---

     
  5. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    Hmmm... thanks for the follow up intel @Vepaot! I didn't do my "due diligence" to get all the facts with this one, and for that I apologize.

    I am still glad I shared it, because even though the cyber arm is only partially functional, it's a step in the right direction. We will never get to the "promise" of that technology without taking some baby steps first.
     
  6. Vepaot

    Vepaot Silver Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    KCMO
    Ratings:
    +258
    Current Phone Model:
    LG G5 (LS992)
    Oh yeah, it's definitely better to have too much info than not enough. And you don't need to apologize to me at all. My only complaint is that they're trying to turn the poor guy into a celebrity and all he really wants is to have as normal of a life as possible.
     
    • Like Like x 1