Each day your fingers, wrists, and arms work together to conduct motor movements to perform the simplest of tasks, such as brushing your teeth, stirring a cooking pot, typing on a laptop, and so on. Similarly, our legs’ distinct elements coordinate together to bring about simple results like walking, jumping, etc. But have you ever thought about how that would happen if you lost one of your hands or legs? Could you still get through your day without any help?
Well, earlier, that would’ve been a question of uncertainty. But today, the growing technology has given rise to several miraculous inventions. One of them being the creation of advanced prosthetic devices for robotic assistance. We’re talking about real-time automation devices that are backed by artificial intelligence, capable of doing anything and everything a human arm or leg can do.
What Is Prosthetics Technology?
Prosthetics is a technology that includes implementing artificial limbs to improve the functioning and lifestyle of those suffering from limb loss. Prosthetics demand a thoughtful combination of suitable material, arrangement, design, and structure to match the individual’s practical requirements. These requirements are a tad complicated as they are different for everyone. Besides, they diversify for upper and lower limbs. Leg prostheses are to assist stability and endurance while standing and walking, the ability to absorb shock, store energy, and live up to the cosmetic appearance.
Unique functional needs like running, jumping, and swimming is activities an amputee can start up again by customizing a powerful prosthetic leg. On the other side, a prosthetic hand is to reach and grasp along with the everyday range of motion, including eating, writing, dressing, etc. Apart from that, some unique functional hurdles like hammering and painting are also obtainable functions.
How Has This Technology Advanced In Recent Times?
It may come off as a surprise, but prostheses have been used by humans for thousands of years now. Earlier, artificial limbs containing either concrete additions or almost crude mechanical compositions. Later, more advancements make the prostheses a tad complex but highly beneficial with lighter and more durable composite materials. The improvements didn’t stop here. Subsequently, with artificial intelligence, microprocessors and other automatic control devices are incorporated in these limb amputations, allowing a smooth, hassle-free, and controlled functioning.
Older robots would blindly follow a constant path. However, using lasers or vision operations, the detection and familiarization with objects and materials became possible. Today, robots can blend data from various sensors and readjust their functions without any external assistance. Such an advancement enables them to apply force feedback to simulate any skill like grinding, painting, cleaning, etc. Besides, more robust machine learning and big data-style analysis have ensured complete comfort in everyday tasks, even in the absence of real arms or legs.
How Has Robotic Prosthesis Fitting Helped Amputees?
It Has Made Task-To-Task-Variability Possible
Advancements like artificial intelligence and sensor technologies incorporated in functional prosthetics have allowed amputees to cope with a vastly larger task variability degree. Such an ability to accommodate their actions by considering the variations in their surroundings has created opportunities to perform their daily tasks with ease. Such capabilities have also allowed them to take up the profession they want and become socially, physically, and financially independent. Machine learning has genuinely managed to transform the way prosthetic technology worked previously.
It Has Allowed Them To Perform Complex Tasks
Since a robot arm is becoming more advanced, allowing better coordination, control, and precision in its functioning, complex tasks can also be performed quite effortlessly. Future models are said to allow an even more eminent level of accuracy in functions. Such robotic precision abilities have allowed the amputees to engage and succeed in increasingly fragile tasks requiring absolute precision and control, such as threading a needle and constructing super delicate devices, etc. Due to this, they can develop their skills in such crafty areas and make a successful living out of it if they wish.
Improved Quality Of Life
Prosthetic technology coupled with automation advancements and highly powerful sensors has positively impacted the overall lifestyle of amputees. Now they can enjoy a longer walking distance, a complete range of movement, comfortable sitting adjustments, stable and shock-proof walking, etc. Besides, a prosthetic limb is easy to fit and replace, making it all the more convenient to use. Robotic limbs have allowed them to perform all the activities they would typically perform with their biological limbs. A boost in their functioning has improved their physical capabilities and mental ones due to a more self-confident attitude that gets developed.
Earlier, prosthetic limbs were the only aid we knew for amputees, which served only to a limited extent. Remarkable advancements have been made, which have directed the creation of robotic prosthetic limbs. They look completely natural, have the same skin tone as the residual limb, and function with bio-sensors’ help to coordinate the signals between the nervous system and muscular system to efficiently execute daily activities. Simultaneously, innovations will occur to ensure even better artificial limb performance, to achieve a more remarkable similarity with the natural limbs.