Robotic Body Part Replacement Research.
Modern robotics became a commercially viable in the 1980’s as industry learned to use them to improve manufacturing repeatability and quality. Of course they were also capable of replacing people especially in the very lucrative automotive industry.It really is true that necessity is the mother of invention and the need to improve and compete in manufacturing is largely responsible for the current state of robotic science.
Today digitally controlled industrial robots are increasingly sophisticated and are using some level of artificial intelligence. Robots are starting to move our of the factories and into our homes and businesses. Android like smart machines are being developed to interact with people in hotels and retail outlets.
There is a much higher level of interaction that is happening between people and robots that will change many lives for the better. I am talking about robotic body parts. Wounded warriors that have lost limbs in recent conflicts may soon have much better options for prosthetic limbs. Robotic arms and legs are being developed, building on what has been learned from industrial robots.
Much of the magic of these mechanical limbs is the electro-mechanical engineering that allows for human like motion. The real challenge however is the connection between the patient and the device. Using muscle commands to the device the patient must learn to control and manipulate the replacement limb so there is a large learning curve.
The next logical steam would be to somehow connect the robot limb control system to the brain itself. This brain computer connection would make this interaction seamless so the new mechanical device would feel like any other limb.The opportunity to improve the lives of so many people is really compelling as research continues to expand what is possible.
Robotic Body Parts & Androids.
This very real need is in my opinion going to open major new developments in not only mechanical limb design but brain-computer interfaces. What we learn from this medical-robotic industry will also move android robot science forward. A very human like arm or leg as a replacement limb for a patient also makes a create robot limb. These two areas of development have significant synergy. Artificial intelligence will not doubt also make major contributions to both.