It’s nice to see the science of prosthetics advance, but I’m sure the thousands of Iraq War vets who lost their limbs for a lie would rather have their real limbs back.
At the urgent request of the Pentagon, scientists and engineers are rushing to create an artificial arm that works like a flesh-and-blood one for the growing number of soldiers who are losing their limbs in the Iraq war.
“The goal is to develop an arm that moves like a real biological arm, feels like a real biological arm and looks like a real biological arm,” said Greg Clark, a bioengineer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
If it works as hoped, the bionic arm not only will be deft enough to handle small objects, such as shirt buttons, but it also will deliver sensory feedback to the patient’s brain. Amputees will feel what they’re touching, just as if they were using their own hands.
“Although our war fighters suffer fewer fatalities, they still endure horrible injuries, and today one of the most devastating battlefield injuries is loss of a limb,” said Col. Geoffrey Ling, a doctor who heads the Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program for DARPA.
Eventually, DARPA hopes that the technology can be adapted for people who’ve lost their feet or legs.