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Thread: Exoskeletons Will Be the Eyeglasses of the 21st Century

  1. #1

    Unhappy Exoskeletons Will Be the Eyeglasses of the 21st Century

    Exoskeletons Will Be the Eyeglasses of the 21st Century


    We don’t often realize it, but all fashion is predicated upon human beings’ predilection for prostheses and augmentations. All clothing, bags, and shoes are augmentation to our body, skin, and feet allowing us to deal with non-tropical climates, to carry large amounts of stuff, and to deal with harsh or unforgiving terrain. If humans hadn’t already modified ourselves, the only fashion we’d have is hairstyle.

    Eyeglasses and contact lenses are one of the most prolific forms of medical augmentation on the planet. In many industrialized modern cultures, eyeglasses and contacts are also a major element of fashion. Thin, small glasses are out of fashion; big, chunky frames with large lenses are in. Tomorrow it might be different. But in every case, you have glasses because you have a medical problem that needs fixing.

    But what about other medical devices? Canes and even artificial legs are occasionally not merely built to work but are designed and crafted to be fashionable. Could exoskeletons, robotic limbs, and cybernetic augmentations reach a point where they are beautiful? Furthermore, could they ever become so prolific as to be fashionable? More and more, the answer looks to be yes.

    Two recent articles, one from the New York Times and one from The Atlantic, point to a future less than a decade away where you will be in the shopping for the latest in cybernetic designs the way you shop for new glasses frames now.

    At The Atlantic, Alice G. Watson explains “Why the Future for Quadriplegics Looks Bright“:

    The final product sounds more like the imaginings of Dr. Octavius: A fully functional exoskeleton, manipulated through connections to the patient’s motor and somatosensory cortices. “The ultimate goal,” [neurophysiologist Miguel] Nicolelis says, “is to build a robotic vest for the whole body. Just as in this study, a person’s brain activity will control movement of the limbs, and get sensory feedback from the external world.”

    This kind of technology could revolutionize the way para- and quadriplegics live their lives. According to Nicolelis, if and when a brain-controlled exoskeleton becomes commonplace, spinal cord injuries will be a different animal altogether. Doctors would theoretically use this kind of technology to treat patients immediately after a spinal cord lesion, so that living in a wheelchair could be a thing of the past.

    Though this all sounds a little futuristic, the end-date for this project is oddly close. “We are working with the Brazilian government, who is helping fund the project,” Nicolelis says. “At the 2014 soccer World Cup celebration we hope to have a Brazilian teenager with quadriplegia walk out and make the opening kick.”

    continue...

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cr...-21st-century/

  2. #2
    I hate to see funds allocated in this direction. I'm sure guys with the brain controlled exoskeletons will get all of the girls.

  3. #3
    how many people even want this or would go for it?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Barrington314mx View Post
    how many people even want this or would go for it?

    I'd buy one. It would be better than rolling everywhere on a chair with wheels.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NowhereMan View Post
    I'd buy one. It would be better than rolling everywhere on a chair with wheels.
    +1

    easier than my RGO's

    Please please will someone build in an estim unit to fire all major muscle groups as we walk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    +1

    easier than my RGO's

    Please please will someone build in an estim unit to fire all major muscle groups as we walk.
    That with an exoskeleton would be the ticket, until stem cells bring return of function.

  7. #7
    i thought this was a irreversible type of thing? no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrington314mx View Post
    i thought this was a irreversible type of thing? no?
    No it is a skeleton suit that you would put on and take off like glasses.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nrf View Post
    No it is a skeleton suit that you would put on and take off like glasses.
    oh. i did not know this. well then yes, id want one. gotta be a pretty penny.

  10. #10
    You'd need good bone density, I imagine.

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