Bionic Limbs – Some Reflections

I came across a Tweet by@InteraXon:

A growing need for bionic limbs, and affordable access for MEG brain research tools: this weeks’ News Roundup!

This market is growing rapidly.

It is expected that by 2017, bionic limbs (including ones controlled by the patients brainwaves) will be a global market of ~ $24 billion annually

I think the market can be bigger. In addition to augmenting humans who have lost their limbs, there is a big market for the elderly with back, hip, knee problems. For example, artificial lower bodies that start from hip and go down to feet,  may help elderly be more mobile.

We have over 5 elderly members of our immediate circles who are over 80 and have some kind of a mobility problem. My mother had 3 knee surgeries (twice in one). I know a lot of people in our family ciricles who are suffering because they have bad knees. A specialized version of bionic limbs will make their life infinitely better. I don’t know anything about prosthetics or bionic limbs. So the list is more of a wishlist. I would buy any variation of these to help out my parents/uncles/aunts.

  1. They should be inexpensive and made out of really light material (let me define inexpensive. They should cost less than a knee or hip surgery)
  2. They should be easy to configure  (for example the lower body system should come in multiple pieces for hip, thighs and legs) so people buy just what they need
  3. Some one like a physiotherapist should be able to fit them and train people to use them
  4. It should be easy to slip in and out of them (like moving to a wheel chair)
  5. They should take commands from brainwaves or very easy to operate 
  6. They should not require any surgery or modification
  7. They should have smart sensors that balance the use of power of human muscles with the augmented system (we don’t want muscles to atrophy due to lack of use).