Is it just me, or has the whole world been buzzing about prosthetics this week? First, I came across an article in The New Yorker from Ben McGrath about bionic prostheses. Then, Chad Farneth of Readymade News linked to a story about Oscar Pistorius ("the Blade Runner") and the amazing prosthetic feet now available from prosthetic and orthodic designer Ossur. Finally, Yahoo! News linked to an inspiring story about an Iraqi war veteran who was recently retro-fitted with a bionic arm:
"Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo can grasp tennis balls and door knobs with his left hand again, now that he's been outfitted with a bionic hand that has flexible fingers. The 27-year-old former soldier, who lost his left hand in 2005 during a patrol, is one of the first recipients of the i-LIMB. "To have this movement, it's — it's amazing," Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. "It just gets me more excited about now, about the future."
The prosthetic hand is made of semi-translucent plastics. Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb. The i-LIMB can be covered with flexible material to mimic the look of human skin, called cosmesis. Arredondo, of San Antonio, likened the limb to the bionics in "Star Wars" and "Terminator." "My son, he goes nuts about it," he said."