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Researchers hope artificial arms will one day work and feel like a real arm

The technological and medicinal breakthroughs that scientists make today are often not even close to imaginable to researchers just a few years ago.  With monetary help, researchers at the University of Utah are hoping to once again do something simply amazing.  As part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 project that is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), researchers want to make mechanical arms operate and function closely to real, biological limbs.  According to a press release from the University of Utah:

"Imagine an artificial arm that moves naturally in response to your thoughts, that allows you to feel both the outside world and your own movements, and that is as strong and graceful as an intact, biological limb," says bioengineer Greg Clark, the University of Utah's principal investigator on the project. 

The new prosthetic limb would operate because an implanted device would theoretically be able to relay nerve impulses in the limb to a small computer that would then send the impulse to the bionic arm.  If the research is successful, it could be a great step towards allowing people to once again have limbs that are work and feel like real limbs.

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Bionic Man
By shuttleX on 4/29/2006 8:43:18 AM , Rating: 4
We can rebuild him, we have the technology.

RE: Bionic Man
By Tim Thorpe on 4/29/06, Rating: 0
RE: Bionic Man
By Tsuwamono on 4/29/2006 10:19:45 AM , Rating: 5
.. But we dont want to spend alot of money..

RE: Bionic Man
By AlexWade on 4/29/2006 8:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Lord Vadar, can you hear me?

RE: Bionic Man
By tuteja1986 on 4/29/2006 11:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
soon it be like GITS

Military applications
By peternelson on 4/29/2006 5:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm, funded buy DARPA......

Ok so we can manipulate a replacement limb.

But I suspect another motive may be much STRONGER limbs.

If we replace the body parts with STRONG robotic limbs a soldier could be inside a kind of walking body armour suit, with intuitive control.

Like those Manga cartoons of mech warriors etc.

The defense guys may not be funding this out of pure altruism ;-)

RE: Military applications
By knowyourenemy on 4/29/2006 6:32:38 PM , Rating: 3
Now we are touching upon Cyber-Punk. How cool!

RE: Military applications
By Hypernova on 4/29/2006 8:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that one of the goals for the Future Force programmes?

RE: Military applications
By ahkey on 4/29/2006 10:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Forget replacement limbs - how about an extra arm mounted on each shoulder, capable of working in sync or even independantly of the others.

RE: Military applications
By Wwhat on 5/1/2006 10:41:51 AM , Rating: 3
Or how about an artificial extra brain for soldiers so they can tell when a president is feeding them BS?

By probedb on 4/29/2006 11:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
I think it'll be awesome when we can finally replace limbs/eyes etc. properly.

The ridiculous fact is that more money gets plowed into films like Terminator 2 than into the research to make these things a reality! Go figure.

RE: T2
By Garreye on 4/29/2006 12:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
They should ask Arnold what he thinks about that now that he's governor.

RE: T2
By Hulk on 4/29/2006 12:31:27 PM , Rating: 1
If you paid to see T2 then you are part of the problem you are complaining about. Right?

RE: T2
By tk109 on 4/29/2006 2:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well the obvious hold back here is that they need to create a company called Cyberdyne Systems.

RE: T2
By Xenoterranos on 4/30/2006 1:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
We have one locally, it's a computer repair firm.

RE: T2
By Chiisuchianu on 4/29/2006 6:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
i agree completely. i hate the fact that we, as humans, spend so much money on BULL instead of awesome stuff like this!

By shaw on 4/29/2006 10:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
After they finish making the robotic limbs, then they should concentrate on making big walking robots. We were suppose to have big walking robots for a while now, they're slacking.

RE: Cool
By superkow eric on 4/30/2006 2:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously. Where the mechs at?

RE: Cool
By sevendust62 on 4/30/2006 4:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
We could make something like the Protomechs; the human pilot's brain is hooked up, and whenever the brain dictates that a particular limb move, the mech's equivalent limb moves instead, making the mech be, in effect, his body.

This could be bad
By Jesse3G on 4/30/2006 6:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
What if you accidentally fell asleep with the arm on? Would your arm think of the actions in your dreams as actual commands?
Also, what if someone was yelling at you and you thought about punching him? Would you be accountable for accidentally killing a person due to an idle thought?
Last but not least: Is the funding for these mind reading devices coming from the government? (that would be freaky) ;)

RE: This could be bad
By Jesse3G on 4/30/2006 7:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Ok - I'm freaked out.

By Serlant on 4/29/2006 11:05:36 AM , Rating: 1
make today are often were not even close
doesnt make sense and i think this might work since i read about electrode helmet that can read your thoughts?

RE: error!
By Mirabiles on 4/29/2006 12:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
the most they can do in terms of translating thought into movement is very rudimentary cursor movement, nothing nearly as complex as this arm will have to be. on the other hand, there have been folks who can get an arm/hand to mimic what theirs does based on signals received by an implanted chip into a functioning arm. this may have potential.

By CorrND on 4/29/2006 5:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this engineering, not science? Scientists study stuff, engineers make stuff.

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