ESTEEM Center for Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, English & Math




The Robotic Replacement

A person is born with the body parts essential for daily tasks, but what if the body parts aren’t there? Some soldiers lose body parts in war, like an arm or leg, so how would they be able to walk and carry things easily? What if you were born without a limb? What could you do? That’s why prosthetics were made; prosthetics are the robotic replacement of a limb that isn’t there.

Prosthetics are a very important part of our world. Approximately 1 out of 200 people live without a limb, and about 500 amputations are done per day – that’s a lot. Limbs are usually amputated because of some type of vascular disease, birth defect, or accident. Scientists predict that as the population grows, more people will develop some type of vascular disease. Because of this concern, scientists are working on developing the prosthetic and making it better. Now let’s talk about how they started and where they are now.

The history of prosthetics is very long, so let’s start from the beginning. The oldest found prosthetics are from ancient Egypt; their names are the “Greville Chester toe” and the “Cairo toe.” At first, prosthetics were made more for looks than function and not that focused on comfort. Then about 300 years later, a nobleman from ancient Rome used a prosthetic leg called the “Capua leg.” Most early prosthetics where made from either wood, iron, or bronze which would’ve been strapped to the remaining limb of the wearer. Later on, scientists found a prosthetic that had a cushion, meaning that the craftsmen started to acknowledge that the wearer needs comfort. Slowly, scientists started to add artificial intelligence in the prosthetic. The goal was to let it move by itself, like a real limb is controlled by the brain.

People have come a long way in prosthetics, from making fake limbs and using them as cosmetics, to using artificial intelligence and having the limbs move like a normal arm. To this day, the most advanced prosthetic is the Modular Prosthetic Limb. It uses pattern recognition to move.

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Arm & Hand Prosthetics

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