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`Bionic' Arm Brings Back Sense of Touch

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the we-can-rebuild-him dept.

Robotics 234

bdcrazy writes "Two way communication with prosthetic devices allows man who lost both arms in an accident to feel hot and cold, to sense objects and to actually move the prosthetic device to pick things up and put them down. "

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234 comments

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Nice (5, Funny)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892225)

It is well and good until the arms short circuit and try to kill him...

Re:Nice (1, Offtopic)

madprogrammer (214633) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892289)

Ever notice that when things are well and good, they're never really well and good?

Same with fine and dandy...

Re:Nice (5, Funny)

CorporateWhoremone (891177) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892338)

lineman for a Tennessee power company, Sullivan in 2001 grabbed a high-tension wire carrying 7,400 volts of electricity, which incinerated his arms. If his 12V arms shorted I don't think it would even phase this guy.

Re:Nice (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892708)

If his 12V arms shorted I don't think it would even phase this guy.

I've gotta ask: was that an intentional pun, or just luck? :)

Re:Nice (4, Informative)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892373)

When good hands go bad [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892497)

Odd that this was posted the same week as this op-ed piece [theonion.com]

Flashback (5, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892229)

...to robot pricking each finger and palm, one by one, as the patient says "ow!" and then wrapping the prosthetic arm in a black glove...

Step 2 (5, Funny)

Nytewynd (829901) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892232)

The next step is finding out that Darth Vader is your daddy.

Re:Step 2 (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892401)

Actually he already found out. He's getting these arms so he can be a bad-ass dual light saber fighter. Something to keep up on.

Re:Step 2 (5, Funny)

Eclypser (618863) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892409)

No oo ooo oooo ooooo

Peltier Junction (5, Informative)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892243)

These work using a peltier junction. For those not "in-the-know", peltier junctions are basically chunks of metal that push heat to one side when you run current through them one way, and the other side when you run current through them the other way. This provides a cold, and a hot side that can be varied very quickly from cold to hot, by changing the amount and direction of the current. They are very inefficient though, requiring a lot of current that is generated as excess heat overall. These are commonly used to cool processor cores down, pushing more heat into the heatsink, but keeping the core cooler than it would be with just a heatsink.

-Jesse

Re:Peltier Junction (3, Informative)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892425)

These are commonly used to cool processor cores down, pushing more heat into the heatsink, but keeping the core cooler than it would be with just a heatsink.
I'd disagree that they're "commonly used" for CPU cooling. Peltier heat sink assemblies have fallen way out of vogue in the last few years and were never particularly popular in the first place. Problems like generating a significantly higher amount of waste heat, while simultaneously creating a frost (no kidding) and condensation problem made them extremely impractical when faced with water cooling options.

That being said, peltier cooling IS commonly used in those little desk top refridgerators and portable DC cooler/warmers that you see for sale in RV catalogs.

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892461)

Peltier junctions are most often used for CPU cooling, I suppose is what I meant to say, though that was just a guess. I've also seen them in those port-o-coolers too... Anybody know of anything else these are used for?

-Jesse

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892621)

Sharper Image used to sell a neck cooling thing that used peltier coolers, but then they changed it to a water evaporator design. Battery life probably sucked on the original.

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892440)

I've actually often wondered what it would take to give a synthetic sense of touch to something. I'm guessing this "peltier junction" must be the best option for temperature since that's what their using? What else would you need, and how would you accomplish it? You would need the ability to feel whether or not something is hard or soft, whether or not it is rough or smooth, and that's really about it? Could both smoothness and hardness be deteched by the same sensors? If anyone knows please reply...it's fasinating :)

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892501)

Well, in this article, it says that the nerves from the guy's hand were reattached into his chest, attached to a pneumatic plunger that would push on the nerves when his replacement hand was pushed on; that would give him the sense of touch/pressure, though I doubt it has the resolution for something like surface texture. I'm assuming in this case (it's how it's done elsewhere in prosthetics) that there are also peltier junctions touching the nerves to provide the hot/cold sensation. In the past, the peltier junction was connected to the stump of the arm, so that you would be able to feel hot or cold, but it wouldn't actually feel like it was on your previous hand, it'd still feel like it was on the stump.

-Jesse

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892634)

Well, I not only wonder about it in the sense of prosthetic replacements, but what about for a full out robot? Or I guess more in my field, what about in a virtual world on an AI creature...

On the topic of heat/cold again...couldn't they put a bunch of tiny thermometors (sp?) embedded in a synthetic skin and then have a chip give the brain the appropriate sensations based on that data?

Re:Peltier Junction (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892785)

That's essentially what they're doing here. They're using temperature-sensors in the fingers of the robotic hand, and then using peltier junctions directly connected to the nerve endings from the old hand that relay that temperature to the brain.

It'd be nice if we had direct interfaces into the brain, but we don't yet.

-Jesse

Yes but... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892244)

When will this guy [ktuu.com] be able to get some feeling back with the use of a prosthetic device.

Re:Yes but... (2, Funny)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892296)

Your link is broken. But I suspect something happened to his penis. Could you elaborate? How was it cut off? Did some machinery in a shop explode and tear his penis off? Or did a trout eat it?

Re:Yes but... (2, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892405)

Supposedly they found his penis and put it back on. This according to the article you linked. I've heard of not R'ing TFA, but you should at least R your OWN TFA.

Where did they find his penis? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892443)

Where did they find his penis? And what caused it to go missing in the first place? Did they reattach his actual penis, or was it a prosthetic binary-temperature device like the one described in this topic's article?

Re:Yes but... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892611)

Oops, you're right. I stopped reading after "it was flushed down the toilet."

I'm not sure I would want mine reattached if that happened to it.

Re:Yes but... (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892746)

I would. I'm sure they could wash it off quite well. And think about it: this is your penis we're talking about.

Fast enough? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892251)

Would the user be able to sense that his arm is in liquid-hot MAAGMAAA before it melted?

Old, artificial arm joke (5, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892264)

This reminds me of the old joke about the voice-actuated artificial arm.

They finally attach one to an armless human patient and it goes like this.

The guy says, "Arm, scratch my nose". And the arm does it.

"Amazing!", says the guy.

"Arm, sign my name." The arm does it.

This continues for quite a while. Finally when the guy's alone.
He says, "Arm, take off my pants." The arm complies.

He looks at the arm, and then at his penis and says, "OK arm, jerk it off!"

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (4, Funny)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892329)

You can make this joke worse by adding the following:

The guy then screams in pain, "Oh, fuck me!"

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892630)

Nice. Funny too.

What exactly happened to his penis? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892333)

So are you saying that his penis was ejaculated and made flaccid, or was it torn right off?

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892350)

Sorry, but I fail to see what is funny about this 'joke'. The arm just complies and does as it should, wheres the twist? what surprise does the joke hold?
Is it funny because it involves masturbation? What a level of humour.

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892398)

The arm "jerks" it off...literally.

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892408)

No, the arm jerks his penis off. Off his body.

Sheesh.

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892468)

So then the next logical step is that he gets a prosthetic, voice-controlled penis, right? What's so wrong about that? Back in my youth I would get erections all the time in public. A fine lady would walk by, and my flagpole would stand at attention! But now with a voice controlled penis this man could say, "Down, boy! Down! Down!" and his penis would go flimsy.

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (1)

Markus_UW (892365) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892648)

Haha, that could come in handy sometimes. And then, when you're old and it won't go up, no need for Viagra, just tell it to.

Re:Old, artificial arm joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892659)

Hey, you're pretty good at playing the idiotic moron who doesn't get it because his language skills are those of a babboon!


Very funny!

cheaper than I expected (5, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892266)

So far it's only cost about $100,000, which is far cheaper than the $6,000,000 that was originally estimated. Maybe we'll get a little closer to that price once another arm is added, and some legs and a head and body...

Re:cheaper than I expected (1)

Launch (66938) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892588)

$100,000 in parts alone... the sugery, research, and development goes into the millions.

Re:cheaper than I expected (4, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892730)

Six million dollars total, perhaps?

Re:cheaper than I expected (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892699)

So far it's only cost about $100,000, which is far cheaper than the $6,000,000 that was originally estimated.

Yeah, but it still costs an arm and a leg... er for an arm. But a bionic arm!

Re:cheaper than I expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892720)

Does that make him the 6 million dollar man?

OOoooh (3, Funny)

TCaptain (115352) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892271)

"We can rebuild him. We have the technology.
We have the capability to make the world's first Bionic man.
Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before.
Better . . . stronger . . . faster."

you forgot the noise (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892360)

da-na-na na-na na-na na

Re:OOoooh (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892379)

Man, I miss that show. What was it called again?

Re:OOoooh (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892504)

And then we can use him to fight the fembots and bionic Bigfoot!

Re:OOoooh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892572)

"We can rebuild him. We have the technology.
But I don't want to spend a lot of money..."

*runs out with a trashcan leg and a rake for an arm*

Dr. No LIVES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892277)

I for one welcome our new SPECTRE overloads...

Vader (1)

Ichtys (841582) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892282)

Coming soon! Get your own robotic limbs. For that Vader feeling.

Non-binary feedback (5, Funny)

UltimateWager (893855) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892285)

The article describes being able to feel different levels of pressure in addition to different temperatures. It sounds like an impressive level of feedback.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it takes for a Linux dist. to be built for it?

Re:Non-binary feedback (1)

pointbeing (701902) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892491)

Anybody want to take bets on how long it takes for a Linux dist. to be built for it?

Cool. Then we can create a beow...

Oh, never mind.

Re:Non-binary feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892516)

Linux already runs on ARM.

Re:Non-binary feedback (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892596)

The article describes being able to feel different levels of pressure in addition to different temperatures. It sounds like an impressive level of feedback.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it takes for a Linux dist. to be built for it?


About 5 years, 1 year for the guy to learn how to type "make menuconfig" with his toes, and another 4 for gentoo to finish compiling.

What does this mean to biotechnology? (5, Insightful)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892290)

I keep wondering if advances in prothetics will slow research into regrowing limbs. Once the replacement becomes better than the real thing, will people trade in their real arms for fake ones?

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (3, Interesting)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892342)

Why on earth would anyone want to trade in a real arm for a robotic one? Why not just have 3 arms?

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892654)

Skeletal reconstruction associated with a third arm, not to mention the control issues (is it even possible?) would make replacement far more likely than augmentation.

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892655)

I never thought of it that way. I can totally see pr0n sites selling 3rd arms.

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892662)

That'd damage your jacket

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

Norgus (770127) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892391)

Probably if some private companies offer fitting them as a service. Although there is still the financial limitation.

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892466)

Are you kidding? Just wait for some group of Swedish technocrats to call themselves the "Borg"....

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892519)

They're not Swedish but American. And they call themselves "Microsoft"

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

BioCS.Nerd (847372) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892574)

I suppose it could slow the research of growing artificial limbs, but I would personally hope to see mechanical limbs as a sort of "loaner" until your new biological limb can be grown (much like you would borrow a car from a dealership when your car is being fixed). More so, I would posit that growing limbs is much further down the line than mechanical limbs. The two streams of research will probably continue unabated by the other for quite some time to come.

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

thomasa (17495) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892724)

couldn't mechanical limbs also be used for robotics design? I would
think the hardware would be the same. I.e., advance two technologies at the same time.

Re:What does this mean to biotechnology? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892727)

Some people, yes. Some people, no.

It probably won't take us long to make an arm that in some ways exceeds the capabilities of real arms. Your first thought is strength, but a strong arm requires a strong body to support it. But you might embed other things in it that Nature hasn't seen fit to provide us, or at least have an arm that is strong without having to be exercised.

But it will likely be a while before we have an arm that is a uniform improvement over our real arms. Healing, for instance, is a really nice feature, it is just loaded with sensors, and it integrates well with the rest of the body without much extra effort.

Robotic arm, nothing new? (0, Troll)

surfer9joe (891582) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892304)

I believe they already offer this arm for sale at all the "adult toys" stores, no?

many years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892312)

I recall seeing a segment on the show Beyond 2000, which showed a working prototype that let people with lost limbs to sense hot and cold.

It is about frelling time that replacement body parts (arms, legs, feet, fingers, etc) bring the wearer feedback with regards to pressure and elements such as hot and cold.

Cost Prohibitive (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892321)

Unfortunately the price after all is said and done: "By the time it's perfected, the cost of manufacturing the bionic arm is expected to be about $6 million, according to the report."(http://www.local6.com/news/4643968/detail .html [local6.com] )

It is still good to see technology used to change someone's life for the positive.

Re:Cost Prohibitive (2, Funny)

markana (152984) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892484)

Yeah, but $6mil *used* to get you an arm, two legs, and an eye. Now it's just an arm.

I guess that's inflation for you...

You Know... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892335)

Feeling hot and cold is one, but how about feeling a woman? I think a guy would be in a lot more pain if she rips it off and beat him to death with it.

Re:You Know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892675)

"but how about feeling a woman?"

you said it yourself, they already have ones that can feel cold...

*posted anonymously to protect myself from being beaten to death with my own ripped off arm

Progress (1)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892347)

They're making progress in this ares, but still have a long way to go. I wonder how long it will take for the researchers to develop some kind of motor system that is lightweight and has enough tourque to more accurately mimic normal human movements.

This may also advance the general robotics fields too (I would love to have a robot to fetch food and clean).

Prosthetic brain? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892351)

From Article:

A lineman for a Tennessee power company, Sullivan in 2001 grabbed a high-tension wire carrying 7,400 volts of electricity, which incinerated his arms.

I don't mean to sound like an insentive asshole (but I probably will anyway) but don't you think he has bigger problems if he's grabbing high voltage power lines?

Was this one of those famous, "Hold my beer and watch this!" situations that seem to have become so well known?

Re:Prosthetic brain? (5, Insightful)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892525)

More like one of those instants where your brain, while processing the signals you've just sent to your appendages, says to itself:

Fuck. This guy's an idiot.

I've done stupid things with electricty. Similar things. Not once, but twice, I've touched both metal ends of a Flourescent light tube while the light was on. Once while a box cutter was in my hand, touching the metal end of one of the lights. Not me showing off being an idiot, just having one of those beautiful moments where Darwin should have taken over. My hands got moving faster than my mind could slow them down.

This guy was probably up on a cherry picker. His weight shifted, a gust of wind came along, etc and as he started to fall his insticts yelled:

GRAB SOMETHING!

meanwhile his mind, not really paying attention sees what's happening and says:

Nono don't grab th.....nevermind.

Yeah, the guy probably screwed up somewhere down the line but Shit will invariably, consistently, and always, Happen.

Re:Prosthetic brain? (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892678)

I don't mean to sound like an insentive asshole

You definitely should consider being fitted with a prosthetic asshole that can feel hot and cold and sense objects.

Where do I sign up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892352)

Can I get the model with the superhuman strength and built-in grappling hook?

Masturbating. (5, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892364)

Masturbating without a sense of touch is way better though, it doesn't feel like you're doing it... Not that I'd know! :P

Without a sense of touch in the penis or the hand? (2, Funny)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892493)

Do you prefer not feeling your hand on the penis, or not feeling the feelings of the penis in your hand?

Re:Masturbating. (2, Informative)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892565)

I believe the term you're looking for is a Stranger [urbandictionary.com] . =)

Re:Masturbating. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892587)

Yes!! I was wondering what movie I had seen it in :P

Re:Masturbating. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892661)

There's a guy in Gone in Sixty Seconds [imdb.com] who *mentions* it. He doesn't *do* it, though (not that I'd be interested to see ;))

Re:Masturbating. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892790)

If your wife can't be bothered to give you a handjob tell her to lie on her arm for a bit, and it will feel like somebody else is doing it.

more technical article (5, Informative)

Formica (775485) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892365)

Here's an article with a little more details on the technical end:

Rewired, amputee lifts arm with mind [embedded.com]

Relocated arm nerves (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892384)

Sullivan's prosthesis has a computer in the forearm that is wired to a mechanical hand and to a "plunger" device on his chest. The hand sends signals up the wires to the plunger, which pushes the skin. That stimulates the nerves in his chest to transmit sensations to the brain as if the nerves were still connected to his real hand.
On Wednesday, when Kuiken touched a spot on Sullivan's chest, Sullivan said: "Oh, that's right between the finger and thumb on the back side of the hand."
If Kuiken touches one of Sullivan's prosthetic fingers, Sullivan can feel it and say which finger it is.

Wow. I just know he is glad he can still play the "pull my finger" game with his grandkids.

Frosty Piss (0, Troll)

NYYankee161st (785590) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892388)

Holy shit. I was just browsing the old WWW and then I came across a picture of cowboyneal. I almost shit my pants in laughter. I can see how people get fat, but you think by the time you get to 800 pounds that you would lay off the Yodels. But anywho.... as always you slashbots can eat my cum and suck my ass. Have a wonderful day.

The 'burning' question still remains... (3, Funny)

Mikey Rowan (890208) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892404)

Does he run linux?

It most likely runs vxWorks. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892529)

It most likely runs the embedded vxWorks operating system. Linux would probably be far too featureful for a system like this. While Linux is better for larger embedded systems, like PDAs, DVD players, and so on, extremely small systems like this can very often have literally no extra overhead. That is why a very stripped down, minimal system like vxWorks is used.

Obligatory Red Dwarf Scene (2, Funny)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892417)

KRYTEN: Okay, now let's recap: the limb is connected to neurons which run up to the left hemisphere of your brain, which controls the right side of your body. Now, all you have to do is merely command the arm to do something, and it obeys. Now, let's practice. Right, concentrate, sir. I want you to think: "arm - pick up the ball".

LISTER: Okay.

KRYTEN: Now just think: "I will pick up the ball"

LISTER: I will pick up the ball.

KRYTEN: That's right, good, now, concentrate.

LISTER: *I will pick up the ball*.

KRYTEN: Okay, now *really* think: Hand --

LISTER: I will pick up the ball.

KRYTEN: -- pick up the ball. That's right, that's right.

LISTER: *Pick up the ball*.

KRYTEN: Pick up the ball. Hand, pick up the ball! That's right, now *keep* going, sir! Pick up the ball! Now, focus down onto that and keep the thought, sir! Hand, pick up the ball!

LISTER grunts, effort twisting his feature as the hand lies motionless

KRYTEN: That's right, sir, now keep going, now *really think*, now. Hand, pick up the ball! Now let's really get it going, sir!

LISTER: Pick up the ball! *Pick up the ball*!

KRYTEN: REALLY START TO GO NOW, SIR!

LISTER: HAND, PICK UP THE BALL

KRYTEN: NOW LET'S KEEP MOVING! KEEP ON, SIR, YOU *CAN* DO IT!

LISTER: HAND, PICK UP THE BALL!

KRYTEN: YOU'RE GOING TO MOVE THAT HAND, SIR! YOU'RE *GOING* TO MOVE IT! MOVE THE HAND, SIR!! LISTER: HAND! PICK UP THE BALL!! PICK UP THE BALL!!

KRYTEN: YES SIR! YES! WE'RE STARTING TO MOVE, NOW! YES! IT'S DEFINITELY MOVING, SIR! YES!! Oh! Bravo, sir!!

LISTER grabs the ball and sets it three or four inches away.

- Crow T. Trollbot

jerking off.... (2, Funny)

super_ogg (620337) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892427)

That's all he wants the arm to be able to do without tearing his dick off.
ogg

But will it let him... (1)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892429)

Two way communication with prosthetic devices allows man who lost both arms in an accident to feel hot and cold, to sense objects and to actually move the prosthetic device to pick things up and put them down.

But will it let him to type in his login and password so he can read the story about himself?

Here's the story [yahoo.com] at Yahoo.

For one... (0, Redundant)

Szaman2 (716894) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892435)

For one I welcome our new bionic overlords :P

We have the technology (0, Redundant)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892464)

We can rebuild him!

Feedback is an important breakthrough (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892498)

Two way communication with the prosthetic is a huge breakthrough! Glad to see this is becoming possible.

Without this kind of feedback, control becomes...very difficult. For example, think of the cruise control in a car. You can make a decent one with a pair of opamps. The (oversimplified) way it works is that it takes the speed you're going and finds the difference between that and the speed you'd like to be going and uses that difference to work out how much to push in your accelerator.

Now try to work out how to do one if you're not allowed to know how fast the car is already going. Cut the two way communication, and it becomes much harder to do.

Resistance is Futile! (1)

HaFBaKeD (893874) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892508)

We will be assimilated!

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892550)

...does it run Linux?

MY PROF WORKED THERE! (1)

onion_breath (453270) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892569)

What a surprise to read some slashdot today and find that sorty posted. I attended UNB Mechanical Engineering and one of my profs actually worked there. I remember doing a course writing 3D control software for movement of a PUMA arm stored in the lab. It's good to see some print for little old New Brunswick, and good to see some benefits for people who've lost limbs.

Pain? (1)

Malicious (567158) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892586)

Where is the threshold? At what point does hot, turn to ouch? You could feel hot, but would you feel burning? Would your brain realize that the heat is not doing any damage?

Re:Pain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892723)

At what point does your post turn to stupid? Of course his brain will realize that it is not doing damage. Idiot.

Long distance feeling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892707)

If you can have an artificial sensation, there is no requirement that it be something local that you're feeling.

If you extend this technology, you could entirely remove the requirement to travel. Simply rent a remote control tourist and you will completely be wherever you want. Cool. On the other hand, the matrix is getting closer. Uncool.

Usage stats (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892710)

"For some reason his right arm is showing more wear than the left," said Dr. Todd Kuiken. "Especially around the fingers and palm. We're not sure what's up with that."

Sad day for freedom in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12892725)

To all US /. readers who still believe that the USA has freedom.

Read this http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/04pdf/04-10 8.pdf [supremecourtus.gov]

Your government can now take your property for the "public good"
You are no longer safe in your own home!

The end has come and you only have yourself to blame.

What are you going to do?

Bionic Commando (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892745)

Bah, tell me when the arm extends twenty feet and I can swing across buildings [classicgaming.com] .

kind of off topic but relevent (2, Interesting)

baloo63 (894560) | more than 8 years ago | (#12892787)

my dad has lost one arm and the use of another arm in a hay baler. while i am always excited to see this kind of technology advancing, it is obviously aways away from practical use for a farmer. my dad has recently expressed alot of interest in using a computer, does anyone know anything that would make the computing experience easier for someone with no mobility in limbs?
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