It’s an interesting time we live in, a time of great technological progress, and though we can build computers powerful enough to create artificial synaptic responses, we still haven’t found a way to create artificial limbs nearing the complexity of our biological one’s. It’s really quite pathetic; thousands of people lose limbs each year and are reduced to wearing prosthetics that are little more than dolled up wooden pegs. It’s on that note that I present Scott Summit’s presentation Using the Body to Design the Body.
Scott’s company creates limbs that are both aesthetically pleasing and more functional than the average prosthetic leg. They are printed out from a computer model using a method known as 3D Printing. The machine allows them to print out legs that are seamless, strong, and curbside recyclable. Not only that, but they are fairly affordable costing roughly $5000/pair, depending on the customizations.
I think it’s safe to assume that there will come a day when artificial limbs will far out-pace the abilities of our natural ones, and that will pose many interesting questions to humanity. If limbs are designed that allow the wearer to be faster and stronger, who decides who gets them? Will they only be available to injured persons, or will a person simply be able to stroll into a limb clinic and have an artificial one installed? Though Scott hasn’t reached this point yet, his team has made major strides towards allowing the injured to reclaim some of their mobility.