Many ideas and concepts that were once nothing but the stuff of science fiction have now been brought into reality. Spaceflight, computers, cellular telephones – these were all once flights of fancy, but now we take them for granted.
Every time you open your browser to search for Aryn K dresses or places to buy affordable clothing online, you are living in a science fiction novel of the past! Of course, it hasn’t gone too far, we don’t have cyborgs living amongst us yet – or do we?
A cyborg is basically a human or animal who is made up of both biological elements and artificial parts. In fiction, these beings often have enhanced strength, perception or other skills due to their robotic elements. When you think about it, these cyborgs already live among us.
In the past, when a child was born deaf or blind there was no way for them to gain the sense of hearing or sight, a sense that would be an enhancement to their original state, However, in the mid 20th century scientists developed the cochlear implant, which allowed those with certain forms of deafness to hear through the aid of an implanted device.
Today, over 200,000 people worldwide use cochlear implants to hear. Vision implants are not as advanced, but in 2004 a British artist developed a device that allowed him to ‘hear’ colors, in order to compensate for his red/green colorblindness.
Another fascinating application of enhanced senses due to cyborg technology is magnet implantation. Some people choose to insert a small magnet under the skin of their fingertips which allows them to sense magnetic fields. Although it does not yet have many practical uses, it is amazing to think of the integration of a whole new sense.
The complete replacement of a human limb is a huge technical and medical challenge and all-in-all we have yet to develop technology that surpasses the capabilities of our natural forms. However, the cases of Jesse Sullivan and Oscar Pistorius may be a sign of things to come.
Jesse Sullivan had to have his arms amputated after an electrical accident. His prosthetics were the very first to be controlled by his own body, through complicated interactions with his nerves and muscles.
Oscar Pistorius had both of his legs amputated below the knee when he was just 11 years old. His prosthetics are not robotic, but have caused much controversy due to allegations that they give him advantages in sport. In 2008 he was banned from the Olympics as his prosthetics enabled him to run while using 25% less energy than other runners. His ban has since been overturned.
This guest post brought to you by Carl who enjoys blogging about everything from finding affordable clothing online at affordable online boutiques to today’s technology.