Best of 2012: #6: Bionic Implants become Science Fact

Bionic Arm
Bionic Arm

Prior to 2012, Science Fiction was full of robotic limbs, the wounded who had implants and cyborgs made of part man, part robot.  In 2012, the idea of bionic limbs took a huge leap. After month after month of technological breakthroughs, its clear that 2012 was the year that bionic implants became reality.

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Early spring of 2012 saw a man and a woman, get computer chips implanted onto their motor cortex part of the brain. They watched as scientists moved a robotic arm, and had the chips measure the neurons as they fired in reaction.  After recording this pattern, and programming it into a computer, the arm would move using nothing more than sensing the neurons fire.

They had just been able to move a limb with their minds.

They would be paralyzed no more.

DARPA Bionic Arms

This was just the edge of the bionic iceberg.  DARPA, the R&D wing of the Pentagon, has been working on this sort of technology for years.  In 2008 a breakthrough was made using a similar idea to help a man move his new prosthetic hand, using nothing more than a chip implanted into his brain.  Three years later, DARPA has moved on to having this system move entire arms.

Beyond arms and hands, some soldiers are being outfitted with new knees and legs, which are so functional, that the recipients can return to the battlefield.  One man from Canada has even had a camera implanted in his eye and connected to his visual cortex.

How long will it take for Robots and Cyborg to walk amongst us?  The tech is already here, and is so convincing that they indeed already walk amongst us.

2012 is the year cyborgs became a little closer to reality.

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