Since the dawn of science fiction, we have seen countless bionic arms and other bionic parts in films and television shows. The idea behind these devices is that they can help replace lost limbs with ease, creating stronger and more durable human beings. For decades, scientists believed that the creation of the working bionic arm was right around the corner. The issue has always been the complexity of the human arm.
From playing the guitar to tying your shoe, your arm is one of the most nimble body parts. Fast forward to the present, and bionic parts are on the rise thanks to innovations in technology. Could these be the answer so many are looking for?
When was the Bionic Arm First Introduced?
Jack E. Steele, a late American medical doctor and US Air Force colonel, was the man who coined the word “bionics”, as a mix of “biology” and “electronics”. Science fiction television series from the 1970s popularized the idea of bionics, such as the Six Million Dollar Man. It wasn’t until 1993 that the very first bionic arm was created.
This arm, known as the “Edinburgh Modular Arm System”, was given to a man named Robert Campbell Aird, who was a muscular cancer amputee. The arm could rotate completely at the shoulder, as well as bend at the elbow, turn at the wrist, and grip objects.
Prosthetic and bionic limbs are now at the forefront of 3D printing, as they are much more inexpensive and efficient to produce that way.
What is the Bionic Arm?
There are a few different bionic arms on the market now, one of the most popular being the Hero Arm. This bionic arm works by picking up small signals that come from the user’s muscles. A user can flex his or her muscles in the elbow and the arm will pick up those tiny, naturally-generated signals and convert them into signals that can be used by the bionic arm.
This particular arm can perform different grips, flex at the wrist, and far more. The best part is, no surgery is required, and a patient will be able to use his or her arm in less than ten minutes thanks to the high-quality electromyographical technology. Other bionics companies, such as EskoBionics and SynCardia, are working to create different bionic parts, such as artificial hearts, exoskeletons, ankle replacements, and more!
The Bionic Arm in Movies and Pop Culture
One of the most popular instances of bionics in pop culture is Steve Austin from The Six Million Dollar Man. Gazelle, one of the antagonists from Kingsman: The Secret Service, uses her bionic legs, which gives her superhuman strength.
In real-life pop culture, we can see Robert Downey Jr., the lead in the hit Marvel series Iron Man, delivering a bionic arm to a young boy without one.
Links to Related Articles
For more details on bionic arms, take a look at these links.
The future in bionic limbs and body parts is bright. With a variety of bionics companies out there attempting to create and refine bionic parts for those who have lost something, we can expect to see a future where loss victims can be reunited with their lost limbs.