Walter Rhett

Fake Limbs The Work Like Real Ones, Ctd

In Perlo on October 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

A great post about media-touted of false hope, debunked.

The Dish

Last weekend’s post about mind-controlled artificial limbs left a reader his shaking head:

It frankly drives me crazy to watch videos about developments in myoelectric upper-extremity prosthetics like the one you posted and to read commentators like Victoria Turk “herald this breakthrough.” Yes, I can choose not to watch or read, but I’m an upper-extremity amputee, and I’ve worn a body-powered prosthesis most of my life. So why wouldn’t I let my curiosity reign?

Reports like this are crazy-making because for me, the products they tout inevitably disappoint. Indeed, I probably wouldn’t wear the prosthetic device with implanted electrodes, even in the very unlikely event that I were offered the opportunity. They evoke the hoary sci-fi cliché of the melding of man and machine, and while mildly interesting, they aren’t the answer for the everyday, prosthesis-wearing amputee.

I once tried a myoelectric arm with surface electrodes.

I promptly went back to my body-powered prosthesis, which is…

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