Bionics is a word that we may often read in early science-fiction novels. This is because the technology is fascinating. These mechanical systems can mirror the beauty of human movement through prosthetic limbs, which in many ways seem like works of fiction. However, there is nothing more real and wonderful than the stories of people who overcome their disability. So, what can one do with bionic limbs? Well, Hugh Herr has a TED talk where he explains how you can run, climb and dance. But there’s more. Bionics is changing the way we design.
Hugh believes the technology is bridging the gap between human ability and disability; between human limitation and potential. In many ways, the technology is similar of the nature of humanity – it breaks boundaries. Hugh’s story is very similar to many with disabilities because he refused to view himself as broken. He viewed his disability as an opportunity to explore bionics and the expand the limits of technology. He saw innovation and thus eliminated his disability.
Bionics is bridging the gap between human ability and disability; between human limitation and potential.
Technology is as a solution to several world problems through innovation such as automation and self-driving. The development of Hugh’s bionic limbs required mathematical modelling and imaging tools but appreciating the innovation requires nothing but curiosity. The science has extensive applications. Our clothes can be designed on the basis of our physical features to create optimal comfort. Exoskeletal frames can be wrapped around anyone’s legs to augment the way in which we walk. Once fully developed, synthetic limbs can both move and feel like biological limbs.
According to Hugh, we are beginning the age in which machines attached to our bodies will make us stronger, faster and more efficient. That’s something that any science-fiction writer can write home about.
If you’re interested in this and other forms of innovation, you can attend a TEDx event.