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the Future of Bionics

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Jeanie Choi

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of the Future of Bionics

Bionics in 25 Years Jeanie Choi CS 4001 | Spring 2011 Prediction: There will be an increase in availability, affordability and sophistication of bionic prosthetics due to growing demand and funding. 3 Major Interest Groups: Disabled
Military
Transhumanists the Disabled The main interest group of prosthetics research.

The growing number of elderly people creates a demand for continuing growth of the bionics industry.

Lately a large number of recent paraplegics from young, active servicemen from Iraq has generated a growth spurt in the industry.

Most of these servicemen have lost upper limbs, spurring development in increasingly sophisticated bionic arms and hands.

The youth of these paraplegics comes with a greater acceptance of technology and a demand for appealing aesthetic, leading to a change in favor from realistic prosthetics to sleek, stylish and clearly bionic designs. the Military Apart from prosthetics for young paraplegic servicemen, the military invests heavily in prosthetics research for other reasons.

Exoskeletons are used to help soldiers carry more weight.

An example of bionics aiding both the disabled and the military: Berkeley Bionic's eLegs and HULC the Transhumanists Interested in many of the more ethically dubious yet groundbreaking aspects of bionics

Transhumanism-concerned with 'transcending' the conventional limits on mankind.

Kevin Warwick
- major transhumanist and proponent of Bionics research
- calls himself the first 'cyborg' The development of technology based on biology for replacement or enhancing of body parts via prosthetics. + Positive Implications - More and more of the disabled will be able to live independently.
- Enhancing bionic technology will make difficult & dangerous tasks easier for people in hazardous occupations.
- Paraplegics/ Quadriplegics will have movement restored.
- Growing acceptance of technology will make prosthetics-users less self-conscious
- Prosthetics will be more comfortable and practical. Negative Implications - Data Sources: http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/

The Future of Disability in America. Committee on Disability in America. National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. 2007.

Study of Disabled Treated at Artifical Limb Centr. Brig G Singh (Retd), Col AK Pithawa, Maj Gen G Ravindranath, VSM. http://medind.nic.in/maa/t09/i3/maat09i3p232.pdf Assumptions Availability, affordability and sophistication are all positively correlated with one another.

Consumer demand and research funding are positively correlated. - Debate concerning the definition of a person will arise.
- The split between those who can afford the most sophisticated model and those who can't will be noticeable.
- The able-bodied may grow to become wary of the augmented disabled-now-possibly-super-abled people about them.
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