When technology and humanity collide, one woman’s life is changed forever…
How amazing is it that this quadriplegic can pick up a pencil again. Or brush her hair. Or pet her dog. Or do any of the millions of things that we take for granted every day. I’m constantly floored by the incredible leaps and bounds being made in fields like physical therapy and bioengineering.
I can’t help but think what the implications could be for me. I mean, I can walk just fine, and I only use the char when I’m tired or I’ve got a pressure sore. But the implications… I’m imagining a chair with legs. Wheels are great but they can’t climb stairs, hills and curbs are a pain, and grass and underbrush are nearly impossible. With my striding chair I’d be able to hike through the wilderness, climb to the top of a lighthouse, and navigate the rubble at the end of the world (by the way, I’m still here, how about y’all?).
Also, the article mentioned how her reaction speed and strength were equal to normal reflexes, but one of the common thoughts for robotic prostheses is that one day they’ll be better than what the rest of us have. Better, stronger, faster…and all that. So how long will it be before people are voluntarily chopping off limbs to replace them with shiny titanium or carbon fiber bits and bobs? The article mentioned Luke Skywalker but what about the Borg? We’re no longer limited to what we can just strap on our bodies. These prostheses are actually integrated into human flesh, using the framework and electrical signals our bodies provide. Why would I need a striding chair when I could replace my faulty legs with awesome walking machines?
Don’t worry, I’m not ready to lop off bits of me yet. But I will definitely be interested to see what the future holds.