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Bionic Arm Provides Hope for Amputees

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the thinking-differently dept.

138

Static-MT writes to mention a CNN article about what doctors are referring to as the first thought-controlled artificial limb. Arm owner Jesse Sullivan has two prosthetic limbs, and the left one is an advanced prototype in development by the folks at DARPA. From the article: "Sullivan's bionic arm represents an advance over typical artificial arms, like the right-arm prosthesis he uses, which has a hook and operates with sequential motions. There is no perceivable delay in the motions of Sullivan's flesh-colored, plastic-like left arm. Until now, it has been nearly impossible to recreate the subtle and complex motion of a human arm."

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138 comments

So he's no longer... (3, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106543)

...Mostly 'armless?

Re:So he's no longer... (1, Flamebait)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106666)

The real question is how in the heck does he put this thing on?!!

Re:So he's no longer... (3, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107058)

Easy. He just uses his right arm to put on his left, then his left arm to put on his right. Duh.

Re:So he's no longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107795)

Look up what grafting means, they grafted the bionic arm on...

Re:So he's no longer... (2, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106908)

Ya gotta hand it to em, it was funny

Re:So he's no longer... (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107092)

C'mon, you're gonna wear these jokes down to the stub.

Re:So he's no longer... (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108153)

Oh, give it a wrist already.

We have the technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107445)

sorry, it had to be said

Re:So he's no longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16108880)

Remember that he's a product of DARPA now - he's Armed and Dangerous!

DARPA funds some cool technologies. (2, Funny)

KIFulgore (972701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106553)

I approve of this little internet thing of theirs too (sorry Al).

Re:DARPA funds some cool technologies. (3, Funny)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107113)

The geeks back in the lab couldn't get a date, wanted to keep both hands on the keyboard, so they thought.... hmmm "how about a thought controlled body part to pleasure myself." Of course being geeks they decided on a hand....

Re:DARPA funds some cool technologies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107588)

Al Gore did create the internet, as he says. He just didn't mean that he INVENTED it, he meant that he participated in the legistlative activities that brought it into being.

Re:DARPA funds some cool technologies. (1)

himurabattousai (985656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107721)

This is why science kicks ass. I've seen posts about how people who have lost/never had limbs adapt to the necessities of lacking a certain functionality, and they should be lauded for not giving up when life kicks them in the nuts. And while it is true that if they never had that functionality, they can't miss it, it's harder to adjust to not having it if it is a new way of life as opposed to the only one ever known.

What this means is that someone in a similar situation has a choice. Instead of being "condemned" to feeling imperfect, cheated on by life, unwhole or whatever else comes with the territory, it's possible to keep up a positive attitude knowing that one can, if he chooses to, keep some of his previous abilities. It'd be interesting to research the onsets of depression that come with losing a limb. I imagine that after the initial euphoria of not losing one's life wears off, seeing that empty space where there used to be an arm or a leg takes its toll. The human mind and body are incredible organic machines with amazing flexibility and adaptability, but physical adaptations are easier than psychological ones by an order of many magnitudes. The benefits of having a semi-lifelike arm like this extend well beyond just being physically able to hug one's grandchildren. The psychological boost of being able to hug someone may be difficult to measure in quantitative terms, but that doesn't mean it is insignificant.

Hear hear (5, Funny)

OSS_ilation (922367) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106564)

Lets give this guy a hand.

Re:Hear hear (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106799)

why stop there, give him the whole arm!

Re:Hear hear (1)

IvanD (719006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106927)

For less than 2 million per organ, they can beat Steve Austin.

Re:Hear hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107078)

Ah what the hell! Let's give him two!

Thought-controlled? (2, Funny)

payndz (589033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106585)

But does he have to "theeeenk in Rrrrrussian"?

Re:Thought-controlled? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106824)

In Soviet Russia, artificial limb controls YOUR thoughts.

Re:Thought-controlled? (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107348)

No, that's Spiderman.

Re:Thought-controlled? (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107367)

But does he have to "theeeenk in Rrrrrussian"?

Only if Fearlesss Leader says to keel moose and squirrel.

Re:Thought-controlled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16108118)

No...He has to think in ARMenian.

Re:Thought-controlled? (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108230)

The microcontroller in the prosthesis just has to be, of course, an ARM processor.

And it only cost 6 million dollars... (4, Funny)

MrSenile (759314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106590)

We can rebuild him.

Rebuild him... better... stronger... faster...

Re:And it only cost 6 million dollars... (4, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106912)

If this arm doesn't make that cool "neh neh neh neh" bionic noise already, they should add it.

Re:And it only cost 6 million dollars... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108065)

If this arm doesn't make that cool "neh neh neh neh" bionic noise already, they should add it.

Haven't you seen the IBM commercial ... it's "nuh nuh nuh nuh". =)

Cheers

The next step (3, Interesting)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106597)

What I'd really like to see is the other end of the equation, actual touch perception. And I don't mean if you feel the shock when hitting something with the arm, I mean feeling textures, or perhaps it'd be easier to start off with hot/cold sensors, since we know how to do that with existing equipment.

Re:The next step (2, Informative)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106687)

"What I'd really like to see is the other end of the equation, actual touch perception. And I don't mean if you feel the shock when hitting something with the arm, I mean feeling textures, or perhaps it'd be easier to start off with hot/cold sensors, since we know how to do that with existing equipment." Honestly, I think that's not important in the least right now. Perfecting this arm for motion would be far more important right now. The sheer idea of having a useable ARM is simple wonderful for an amputee. An amputee, I am sure, wouldn't mind having a useable arm right now, even if it means foregoing the ability to feel. To have such a large degree of ability back far outstrips even the need for being able to feel for the time being - Feeling is a nice touch, having a useable arm is a gift like no other.

Re:The next step (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106889)

Easy for you to say (assuming your nervous system is intact). Every para/quadraplegic ("paralyzed") person I know has told me they much prefer getting senation back than motion. We already have all kinds of tech for motion that need not be bionic - down to the crutch. But sensation is even more important to feeling human. And in various scenarios, we're all blind/deaf/numb.

This bionic arm is is an excellent advance, and worthy of every congratulation. But when talking about "the next step", the experts say it's sensation.

Re:The next step (1)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108267)

Easy for you to say, if you've never dropped your keys in a pot of boiling water!

Re:The next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107714)

I'd like to see the reverse of this application too. Instead of someone thinking and their arm moves. I'd like to move my arm (quickly to the back of their head) and make some people start thinking.

Re:The next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16106712)

According to a video linked from the article, the two people *are* able to sense hot and cold temperatures. They can also distinguish between sharp and dull pressure.

Re:The next step (4, Informative)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106812)

If you check out the various videos, they also have a short demo of touch: the same re-wiring of nerves to the pectoral muscle can be used for feedback. In the case of the female patient, she has two fingers worth of touch, and it's pressure sensitive.
Very impressive.

Re:The next step (2, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107743)

the same re-wiring of nerves to the pectoral muscle can be used for feedback. In the case of the female patient, she has two fingers worth of touch,

So when you shake her bionic hand, she feels it on her chest?

Oh man, this is gonna be good...

Re:The next step (4, Interesting)

giblfiz (125533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107875)

I know this was a joke, but actually it's pretty interesting. She doesn't feel it on her chest she feels it on her arm (the one that isn't their anymore). The weird thing is that their are parts of her chest that you can poke her in, and she will feel it in her arm (so its sort of the opposite of what you were suggesting)

This, of course is the result of some pretty cutting edge surgery.

Re:The next step (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107876)

+1 Funny.

But seriously, the nice deal about this is that she feels it in her fingers, not her chest. That's the nice thing about re-routing the nerves. The chest is just a nice, large, convenient landing spot.

Re:The next step (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106857)

What I'd really like to see is the other end of the equation, actual touch perception.
Just allow me to turn the nerve coupling off when I need to chop wood or stir boiling soup with my bare robo-hands.

Re:The next step (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107071)

Actually tactile sensation and feedback to the user IS part of this program. There are groups at UC Irvine, Oakridge, and SSSA (in Italy) developing sensors while Univ. Utah and Chicago PT groups are working on haptic feedback systems. If successful this project will truly revolutionize prosthetics.

And for those who have commented that the sensation of touch would be "icing on the cake" but that movement is more important, I urge you to check out various research that has shown that without systems for afferent feedback even wholly natural, efferent control is greatly reduced in effectiveness. To summarize one relevant study, whole subjects (i.e. uninjured, normal people) had their fingers anaesthetized but retained full motor control. The result was that without a sense of touch they could not perform even simple tasks (e.g. lighting a match).

Who needs a dutch rudder if you've got 1 of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16106615)

holy smokes, that would be the perfect "stranger"

Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16106650)

A bionic Beowulf cluster!

Only The Begining (4, Interesting)

loose electron (699583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106669)

Medical electronics are just entering a new age.

Research now ongoing that I am aware of:
-- Transponder system to provide electronic relay between severed spinal cord sections.
-- Artificial eye that connects to the optic nerve.

Those two are "out there" with no products out in time for christmas. :)

However there are heaps of things now on the market (pacemakers, insulin pumps, etc, etc)
and more to come. All for the good.

Re:Only The Begining (1)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107169)

Research now ongoing that I am aware of:
-- Transponder system to provide electronic relay between severed spinal cord sections.
-- Artificial eye that connects to the optic nerve.


Links? I'm especially interested in the artificial eye, since I'm blind in one eye myself. I'm sure there are plenty of other Slashdot readers who would be equally interested in learning more about these projects.

Needs to be said (0, Redundant)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106691)

I for one welcome our Bionic Commando Overlords!

Re:Needs to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107960)

Funny joke (not really) but not really accurate. These people are actually MORE brittle than a person without bionic enhancements.

Contrary to scifi conventions, a person cannot be fitted with pneumatic limbs and such and have any increased strength (the only exception to this is compression: he could have one killer grip since the entire system of power transfer can be encapsulated solely within the arm). At some point, the entire thing fits back onto the wimpy human body, and that body then functions as a massive weak point in the system. For example, with a pneumatic limb capable of lifting 5000 pounds, you wouldn't be able to lift anymore than you ever could simply because the weight will transfer force back through you and you won't be able to overcome it at your torso no matter how strong your arm is.

Now, save that comment for when functional (and practical) exoskeletons come into existance. If you can integrate the human with an upgraded exterior structure, and transfer all force through that instead of through the human body, you've got some nasty overlords on your hands.

Will it work the same for all? (2, Informative)

unPlugged-2.0 (947200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106694)

Wow this is a really great breakthrough at least as far as the article describes it but there are a lot of unanswered questions.

The mechanism is basically built by connecting the way other nerves and muscles in the body operate when you do a voluntary action such as clenching your hand or flexing your arm. However this is just the muscle patterns and nerve synapses of one man.

If there is one thing I learned from my failed pre-med career it was that all human bodies interact differently. How will this work then for the masses? Would this have to be custom made for every person? Some kind of custom AI module or custom firmware that is uploaded based on your user profile or based off motion capture on your other arm.

Also from a tech side, what kind of chips do they use to do the processing of this. TFA doesn't mention the stuff we really want to hear.

The article is a little misleading though because the arm doesn't actually listen to the brain it listens to other portions around the arm based on a certain programmed sequence of events. I was really excited because I thought that they had made a device that responds to ECG waves from the brain and actually knows how to recognize certain patterns.

Even though I come off negative I must say that this is a great step in the right direction. The better AI and integration with the brain will surely come with time.

I just hope the AI arms don't decide to overthrow the arm owner or worse a la Doc. Octavius.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

AnFraX (809909) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106762)

Would this have to be custom made for every person?

I doubt it. I do suspect there will be a lengthy training process each patient has to go through. Think how long it took you to learn to use your arms effectivly after you were born. Something similar will have to happen for these patients.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106773)

from what i remember, the machine has to learn your brain mappings, basically, in the beginning. you are asked to pretend you're moving your arm, and the machine tries to find what parts of your brain are firing, then ties those parts to the act of moving your arm.

so, no, theres no one-size-fits-all, it has to be individually tailored.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (3, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107218)

If you actually bothered to read the article, you'd have seen that it doesn't do that at all - the severed nerves are surgically connected to an intact muscle, such as the pecs, and once the nerves can activate parts of the muscle they attach the appropriate electrodes to the appropriate parts of the muscle.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107280)

yeah, i was talking about a different article. i figured it worked the same way.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

misfiring synapses (958921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106920)

nerve endings atrophy after injury; so even if you could "understand" the electrical patterns in the nerves, there would be no "live" nerve endings to hook up to. ~another problem for modern science

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106982)

Probably no need, since your brain is fairly adept at re-wiring itself to adapt to new motor controls. Between your brain and a computer, your brain is ultimately better at that kind of fine-tuning.

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

The_Math_Guy (928529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107796)

From the article, I gather that it happens like this: He still has nerves in his chest. When you try to move your arm, you(probably unknowingly) have to move your chest muscles in a certain way as well. They do some readings to determine what moves(or specifically, what nerves are fired) when he tries to perform an operation, and program them into the machine. Then go. So on the topic of whether it will work the same for everyone: it's highly unlikely. The implementation must depend on the extent of whatever damage was caused that made you lose the limb in the first place, then further the programming of the machine must depend on the specific signals sent out when person x tries to move missing appendage y. Summary: No, it's highly dependent on what parts of your body are still in tact that your brain would send signals to in order to move your missing limb. However, could you have a default set of controls? Like map some other voluntary movement to correspond to moving arm/hand. Flare nostrils == close hand?

Re:Will it work the same for all? (1)

AgentPaper (968688) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108860)

Not exactly. IANAMD, but I'm pretty sure that the procedure involved locating the remaining afferent segments of the musculocutaneous, axillary and radial nerves and re-attaching them to the patient's pectoralis major. Those nerves originate in the spinal cord and travel through the upper chest to get to the arm, so it's not hard to get enough nerve to work with, even with a shoulder-level amputation.

Controlling the arm is a creative use of phantom limb syndrome, basically. The user thinks "I want to bend my right arm," and the brain transmits "contract right brachialis 1.3cm/contract right biceps 1.1cm/relax right triceps as needed" down the appropriate nerves, but the nerves that used to go there are wired to specific parts of the pectoralis, and hence you get a pattern of chest muscle movement for each attempted arm movement. A few dozen repetitions of each movement gives you enough "baseline" to program the hardware, and the user's degree of fine control gets better over time as the brain adapts to using the new limb.

The Singularity is Near (3, Funny)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106713)

I am AllStar, A Robot. I can put my arm back on. You can too!

Ahhh, childhood memories...

another story (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106720)

MIT's Technology Review had a similar article [technologyreview.com] in july.

the have videos (.MOV) of a patient controlling a computer cursor [technologyreview.com] and a prosthetic hand [technologyreview.com]

hope? (2, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106729)

I get a little irked at the "hope for amputees thing". One of my best friends has an arm to the elbow only, and he doesn't need any hope - he's just fine. He has adapted well, and there are few things he cannot do. He has a fake arm for cosmetic reasons, and it helps him to grip simple things, but lets get real. Amputees are not hopeless, they can do most things you and I can do, and frankly some of them (my friend included) put their two-limb friends to shame with their dexterity.

Re:hope? (2, Insightful)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106815)

But if given the oppertunity I bet your friend would like to have a prostectic that works more like a real arm. No one is calling him or other amputees hopeless, just trying to make an adequate replacement for the real thing.

Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16106823)

Yeah!

"hope for amputees"

How patronising is that?

Most amputees, and those born with missing or short limbs, manage perfectly well in society.

They're not sitting there gloomily begging for 'hope' or some technological fix!

They just adapt get on with their lives ffs!

Re:Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16108711)


"hope for amputees"

How patronising is that?

Apparently it helps society deal with the fact that they cannot tolerate the alternative -- when someone is crippled to the extent that they would actually prefer to be finished off than to be forced to endure as an invalid.

Re:hope? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106884)

Yeah, OK, you're politically correct. That's nice.

So your friend - and many others with him have adapted. But ask any of them whether they'd like to get their hands back.
I know I would, in their place, adapted or not.

Dang straight (4, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107027)

>I get a little irked at the "hope for amputees thing". One of my best
>friends has an arm to the elbow only, and he doesn't need any hope -
>he's just fine.

Yep. My son was born with no arms or legs, and he is amazing. He's still just a baby (OK, almost "toddler") and he rolls everywhere, manipulates stuff with his arm stubs (1" or less), and just astounds us with what he can do.

He's being fitted for a "training arm" with no elbow now (a lengthy process of taking molds, making "test sockets", checking the fit, coming back, etc.), and I have no idea how he's going to react when he actually gets it. It'll be cool for some things, but I bet his first reaction will be to be ticked off that he can't roll so easily :)

Re:hope? (3, Insightful)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107231)

I bet your friend would like to have a fully functional normal hand back.

    This technology provides the hope, that one day, in his lifetime, the technology will be available in order for him to have a replacement limb that functions exactly as his original meat grown hand functioned.

    That's all the "hope" that was being talked about. Nobody said that people missing limbs are hopeless or completely incapable of adapting.

    I have hope that someday Overly Politically Correct Blinded people will once again be able to open their eyes and see that not everything is as terrible and cynical as they like to make it out to be.

Re:hope? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107340)

You're exactly right. Amputees don't need hope, since they're able to adapt and do just fine as they are. So we're going to immediately stop all research into medical treatments for amputations or paralysis, prosthetic limbs, etc. as none of these people actually need these things.

-- the medical community

Re:hope? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16108120)

Amputees are not hopeless, they can do most things you and I can do, and frankly some of them (my friend included) put their two-limb friends to shame with their dexterity.

Well that's not fair...comparing (single?) amputees to people with only two limbs. How do they fare against those with four limbs?

I am your father. (1)

couch_potato (623264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106735)

Sweet, just like Luke Skywalker has. I can't wait until these are available for elective surgery (hey Doc, just lop off righty and give me the super-bionic arm). Add this to my Chiba City shopping list, along with the brain implant so I can jack in to the Metaverse.

Cool links. [blogspot.com]

Re:I am your father. (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106911)

Actually Luke could feel sensations from his hand. This arm from TFA is much closer to automail [wikipedia.org] arm Edward Elric [wikipedia.org] has.

Now the Inevitable Question is... (2, Interesting)

terrahertz (911030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106749)

When will this technology cross the line from being restorative (for amputees) and become (for super-soldiers) augmentative?

Don't think DARPA hasn't already put this on the projected timeline.

Re:Now the Inevitable Question is... (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106976)

Well considering that they tried to program super dolphins, I wouldn't put it past them to make super people. (or was that even DARPA?)

Re:Now the Inevitable Question is... (1)

admactanium (670209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106985)

When will this technology cross the line from being restorative (for amputees) and become (for super-soldiers) augmentative?

Don't think DARPA hasn't already put this on the projected timeline.
how is this surprising? it's not some vast conspiracy that the government is trying to hide.

haven't many of our technological and medical advancement been made in the quest for military empowerment?

Re:Now the Inevitable Question is... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107397)

I should hope they don't limit any augmentative technology to just super-soldiers. I, for one, would like to have superhuman capabilities without having to join the Army.

Re:Now the Inevitable Question is... (1)

Koriani (869587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107496)

Actually, most of the ones that are government funded came from our desire and exploits into space, not conquest.

Re:Now the Inevitable Question is... (1)

terrahertz (911030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107953)

Who said it was surprising?

My goal was to raise the issue and set a little hypothetical thought in motion.

Personally, the idea of the state that gave the human race COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org] and MK ULTRA [wikipedia.org] having the power to deploy bionically-augmented soldiers gives me indigestion.

Bionics (2, Interesting)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106783)

I think there is great future in bionics. In addition to limbs as discussed in this submission, scientists have various approaches to bionic sight [wired.com] as well. This subject is truly fascinating. Here is a BBC article on a different project [bbc.co.uk] .

Interestingly and unfortunately, much advanced and successful bionics research is being done in South America because of restrictive laws in more typical countries. While I understand the need to protect patients, research for a paper I wrote two years ago indicates that the most successful scientists are pragmatically drawn away from first-class research institutes.

Oblig. (4, Funny)

Klowner (145731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106796)

And that's why you ALWAYS leave a note.

We Can Rebuild Him (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106850)

Now we just need a bionic eye and leg, too - all for just $6M.

Mandatory Sound Effect? (1)

negaluke (893108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16106945)

They should install a force sensor that plays that 6 million dollar man "shik-shik-shik-shik-shik" every time she does something near the limits of it's capacity.

The true test... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16106975)

"Sullivan's bionic arm represents an advance...There is no perceivable delay in the motions of Sullivan's flesh-colored, plastic-like left arm. Until now, it has been nearly impossible to recreate the subtle and complex motion of a human arm"

Translation: You know you've got it right when it is once again possible to masturbate.

Moo (0, Offtopic)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107009)

If they make a bionic eye, will it be able to take pictures?

General Grievous, we hardly knew ye... (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107017)

"The suit, built of Durasteel and armorplast-plated Duranium, was built to resemble Krath war droids. His armorplast plates were strong enough to stop a bolt from even a starfighter's laser cannon. Each human-sized hand had four fingers and two opposable thumbs (three digits to each half-arm when they split to produce four arms.) His hands and feet were capable of magnetizing when needed, allowing him to grip on to surfaces with incredible strength, even in zero gravity. His feet also could work perfectly well as hands, and in the Clone Wars TV series, he was seen to have killed/incapacitated a Jedi by grabbing the Jedi's head with his foot and brutally smashing it into the ground. His legs were digitigrade (see CloneWar photo). His body was able to move in a seemingly unlimited number of unnatural ways with the twisting and alien movements of his body, almost exclusively to his unorthodox fighting style, this was perhaps exaggerated in the Clone Wars miniseries that depicted him with the ability to transform in almost unlimited ways, too. His internal organs were enclosed in a layer of pressurized synthflesh with an organic fluid to prevent the organs from being damaged by bacteria and harmful germs, and also to maintain a suitable temperature to keep his organs alive and functional. His organs were nourished by artificial arteries keeping them alive with blood from another Kaleesh subject, allowing him to survive in a vacuum (in space, for example), an advantage he would display in escaping from Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on his flagship. This transformation, when combined with his ruthlessness as a warlord, turned him from a courageous, generous leader into an implacable killing machine, incapable of any emotion other than blood-lust and anger."

in other reports... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107061)

...this journalist did gain access to Mr Sullivan as he prepared to engage in extensive testing of his new prosthetic limb. In a closed room filled with computer screens, fast internet connections, and boxes of tissues, Mr Sullivan said "get the hell out of here, I gonna me get some quality time with my new arm, Pamela". :-)

"The Internet is for Porn" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107073)

Now your stereo-typical Slashdotter can use both his keyboard and mouse while surfing the web for porn, without having to swtich hand positions.

And who said robots wouldn't free us from menial tasks?

saw a video of this today on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107167)

I can't remember where, but I saw a video clip of this on TV today.
It was extremely impressive.
(might have been GMA but I'll never admit to watching that ;-)

This is 20 years old technology... (1)

brainnolo (688900) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107275)

He [imdb.com] already had this back in 1987!

Marital aide? (2, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107334)

What if he thinks "vibrate quickly"?

Re:Marital aide? (1)

pu'u_bear (137654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107945)

Just so long as he never thinks "jerk off"...

Old News (1)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107351)

CNN Reported on this way back in March [cnn.com] , what's changed between then and now??

More information on Jesse Sullivan [wikipedia.org]

Or better yet, lets Digg [digg.com] the story posted 174 days ago!

Re:Old News (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107927)

...what's changed between then and now?

That's [cbsnews.com] not Jesse Sullivan. The AP report circulating today was in advance of a press conference to introduce Claudia Mitchell, the first woman to receive one of these arms.

Can some one rip my arm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107379)

And install me one of those? :D

MST3K? (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107399)

Wait, wasn't this the premise for a sketch in the MST3K version of "The Crawling Hand" or something?

Major Kusanagi? Is that you? (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107409)

So when do get full prosthetic bodies?

Or at least one like hers?

LASERS (0, Offtopic)

dijitali (1002701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107647)

But do they come with built-in laser beams?!?!? huh?

What I want to know... (1)

szrachen (913408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107899)

Will it allow amputees to effectively "do the robot?"

"Hand, pick up the ball." (1)

pu'u_bear (137654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16107917)

That's very good, sir. Now REALLY concentrate...
"HAND, PICK UP THE BALL!"

can also be used for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16107975)

the soldiers in the army. get it. army. Wah wah wah.

In 20 years (1)

Thakandar2 (260848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108074)

I'll be obsolete! Yay!

Imagine the embarrassment of losing an arm wrestling match once the prosthetics start to come down in the form factor.

Cool! (1)

Nybble's Byte (321886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108424)

I'd give my right arm for one of those!

Professor Cyborg (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16108588)

I wonder how much Professor Cyborg (Kevin Warwick) [wikipedia.org] and his Project Cyborg [kevinwarwick.com] projects helped with this particular project.

  These robotic limbs give new hope to people with diabetes who had to have their limbs removed. Maybe someday, We will be able to tap into the optic nerve and give people sight through small robotic eyeball or Star Trek like visor.

For Slashdotters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16108730)

He's even mastered a more sensitive maneuver --
Beating Off.
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