The Bionic Man Not Too Far Off
Pretty soon, those that have lost limbs due to a car accident, cancer, or other reasons, may have an alternative - bionic limbs. Researchers have developed technologies that allowed an Italian man who lost part of his left arm in an accident to be able to control a prosthetic device mimicking a human hand for over a month simply by thinking. According to the website (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13909369?source=rss
), electrodes were connected to the remaining part of Pierpaolo Petruzziello's arm that allowed him to control the robotic hand.
As the tests conducted were only over a period of a month, additional research still needs to be conducted on the long-term affects of connecting the electrodes to the central nervous system of a patient. Many more advancements have been completed since the initial workings in the early 2000's that have brought us to this place, but many more will still need to be completed in order to have a prosthetic limb be surgically attached, appear to be a human limb, and function to all commands given to the device.
I am sure that the devices will not be cheap (the project conducted in this research study was to the tune of $3 million), but for those that have the money, it will be well worth it to have a limb restored. After more research and more companies begin manufacturing these devices, the price will most certainly come down. It may not be in our lifetime that the everyday person could receive one, if needed, but the day will come in which anyone that has lost a part of their body for one reason or another will be able to have it restored by one means or another.