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You got to admit: The idea of having a robotic limb is pretty cool. Think Luke Skywalker’s arm in Star Wars, or Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s a comforting thought that if we were to ever lose an arm, leg, or even our whole body, we’d just be able to swap it with a bionic replacement—one that might even improve on the original.
While you might think that robotic body parts exist exclusively in the realm of science fiction, the truth is that scientists and engineers have been designing and building robotic prosthetics for decades. These devices are even so sophisticated that they can even allow its wearers to “feel” certain sensations.
For obvious reasons, though, much of the research focus around robotic limbs has been about prosthetics for amputees and other folks who have lost their limbs. These devices have helped give mobility, motor function, and sensory ability back to these people—which is undoubtedly a wonderful thing. However, there’s a growing contingent of researchers who want to democratize robo-limbs and give them to folks even if they have their appendages intact.
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