Robots & Artificial Body Parts

Manufacturing plants have used robots for many years. These robots are machines that are programmed to do one task, and they can do that task over and over again with great precision. In addition, robots are being sold for use in cleaning homes and swimming pools. Scientists are, however, experimenting with techniques that will lead to robots that can multitask, "think", and make decisions in real-time. The end result of this research is to have robots that are "human like" in appearance and performance and are, in fact, good simulations of real people. Some people believe that robots will become identical to real people and that we won't be able to distinguish between them. Robots that simulate real people have been the basis of science fiction stories for many years. Now, it seems that science fiction may become real-life.

Traditionally, scientists have attempted to remove defects that cause illnesses and to develop medicines and treatment that improve our health. However, from another viewpoint, scientists can increase the health and longevity of our bodies through the replacement of natural body-parts with artificially made body-parts. A replacement part is known as a Prosthesis. Wikipedia says this about Prostheses.
In medicine, a prosthesis, prosthetic, or prosthetic limb (from Ancient Greek prĂ³sthesis, "addition, application, attachment") is an artificial device extension that replaces a missing body part. It is part of the field of biomechatronics, the science of using mechanical devices with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control lost by trauma, disease, or defect. Prostheses are generally used to replace parts lost by injury (traumatic) or missing from birth (congenital) or to supplement defective body parts. Inside the body, artificial heart valves are in common use with artificial hearts and lungs seeing less common use but under active technology development. Other medical devices and aids that can be considered prosthetics include hearing aids, artificial eyes, palatal obturator, gastric bands, and dentures.
This page gives links to some of the current scientific research into robots and into the creation and use of Prostheses.
Designers and engineers assign robots specific roles, such as servant, caregiver, assistant or playmate. Researchers found that people expressed more positive feelings toward a robot that would take care of them than toward a robot that needed care.
The secret lies in the sensor's ability to detect three kinds of data simultaneously. While current kinds of e-skin detect only touch, the Technion team's invention "can simultaneously sense touch, humidity, and temperature, as real skin can do," says research team leader Professor Hossam Haick. Additionally, the new system "is at least 10 times more sensitive in touch than the currently existing touch-based e-skin systems."
In a study published online Feb. 20 in PLOS One, Cornell biomedical engineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians described how 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells can fashion ears that are practically identical to a human ear. Over a three-month period, these flexible ears grew cartilage to replace the collagen that was used to mold them.
Electrodes have been permanently implanted in nerves and muscles of an amputee to directly control an arm prosthesis, for the first time. The result allows natural control of an advanced robotic prosthesis, similarly to the motions of a natural limb.
Humanity came one step closer in January to being able to replicate itself, thanks to the EU's approval of funding for the Human Brain Project. Danica Kragic, a robotics researcher and computer science professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, says that while the prospect of living among humanoid robots calls to mind terrifying scenarios from science fiction, the reality of how humans cope with advances in robotics will be more complex, and subtle.
Women appear to have a higher risk of implant failure than men following total hip replacement after considering patient-, surgery-, surgeon-, volume- and implant-specific risk factors, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.
At the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, Micera reports the results of previous work conducting a four-week clinical trial that improved sensory feed- back in amputees by using intraneural electrodes implanted into the median and ulnar nerves. This interface holds great promise because of its ability to create an intimate and natural connection with the nerves, and because it is less invasive than other methods. It also provides fast, intuitive, bidirectional flow of informa- tion between the nervous system and the prosthetic, resulting in a more realistic experience and ultimately improved function.
The world's first implantable robotic arm controlled by thoughts is being developed by Chalmers researcher Max Ortiz Catalan. The first operations on patients will take place this winter.

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