Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Prosthetic Hand That Can Feel

This is so interesting. This article is an amazing read. It is about a robotic hand that attaches to an arm, including the nerve endings, so the user can feel the sensational feedback from the attached hand. This will prevent the user applying to much pressure and crushing items, or to little pressure and dropping them. This really is amazing.

Let's add to these ideas and get into the discussion of robot parts becoming people. Eventually we may be just a brain in a complete robot body, a world where people rarely die. Good timing on this as the big block buster movie re-make of RoboCop was released just a few weeks ago. The linked article does not go this far. It speaks in the here and now or not so far off future. It does let our minds speculate on a world where we keep replacing our damaged organic parts for robotic ones. Is this a place you would want to live in? If you had a loved one that was in an
accident would you place their brain in a robotic body to keep them alive? Would you want to stay alive for several 100 years?

So many questions come up. Over population issues, and how long can a brain live holding on to and maintaining memories? Do our souls, if you believe in souls, have a shelf life? It opens up a discussion of so many angles, options a speculations. We currently have many robotic parts including hearts, lungs and even getting close to a robotic pancreas to help or even cure diabetics.

I find it fun to speculate what the world will be like in 50 years. I men 50 years ago we didn't have internet or 500 or more cable/satellite TV channels, let alone Internet TV. Also the fast food restaurants on every corner that we enjoy today was non-existent. Most small communities had only a few restaurants, it was more a culture of eating with family at home. Sure they went out, but for many people it was a big deal. Transportation has changed as well. Hi speed rail, faster more efficient cars, faster and larger aircraft. I'm sure you can name at least a few things that we have today that we didn't years ago. With cultural and technological changes that we have seen over the last 50 years, it is not hard to at least realize the world 50 years from now will be much much different.

Tech moves faster every time we create more tech. The telephone in the early 1900's made communication faster, and collaboration faster. This started advancing tech even faster. My earlier transportation examples make for much better faster collaboration. Add the internet for research and email for collaboration, again we can apply the telephone comparison. Mobile devices are again pushing this example so we can research and collaborate while on the go or in a place that we never could before. Instead of developing a theory and working it out at the same time as several others around the world, we now research more. This allows us to expand on the outcomes buy innovators before us. Less repeat and more development. We spend less time figuring it out. Someone has already done that, so we spend more time advancing the research, working and in turn innovating faster.

I'm not sure that we will have brains in robot bodies in 50 years, but I do think we will be close. Wheelchair reliance I believe will become a thing of the past. Robot arms, legs, even ears and eyes will be much more common. Self driving cars I think will be here even faster. They will be available in less than 10 years and more socially accepted in about 20 years. Seems fast but the examples above support it. With the speed of advancement becoming faster all the time, maybe immortality in a robot body is not unthinkable.

Comment and let us know your thoughts and ideas on future tech. Would you become a brain in a bottle linked to an avatar robot if it meant you could live forever?


  1. That's amazing technology. Pricey I'm sure, but life altering for individuals that have lost a limb.

  2. Scott - Thanks for chiming in. Ya it really is life changing I am sure. This is just the beginning. New eyes, ears, legs, and many other body parts will put an interesting perspective on our future. Wow how things are changing faster every year.