Throughout history the use of prosthetics has been documented. One of the most well-known examples is the trademark peg leg of the pirate. But materials, fit and function of these devices have all continued to evolve and advance far beyond that early example. Today, robotics are playing a key role in these advances and are providing amputees not only with a functional limb but also with sensation and muscular feedback from their artificial limb. Click here for more information
This amazing feat is made possible by the use of electromyography sensors (EMG) which communicate with muscles via electrical stimulation. There are still limitations due to the ability of the amputees to learn the process required to control and interpret the impulses from the prosthetic but progress is continuing. Newer designs are focusing on using complex microcomputers to interpret body movement and impulses to allow the limb to predict the person’s needs and activate accordingly. This would eliminate the need for the extensive training and physical therapy that is now involved in learning to operate prosthetic limbs.
The advances in modern prosthetics sounds like something that could only be found in a futuristic movie but it is in fact today’s reality. And the future is only looking brighter for patients who used these devices. To be a part of this amazing blend of medicine and technology you will need to first invest the time in obtaining an online master’s degree in engineering. With that training and a desire to push the current boundaries, you could be a part of designing the next generation of prosthetic devices. The opportunities are limitless and employers such as medical universities and government agencies are always looking for highly skilled and highly motivated engineers to work in this world altering field. Each advance offers life changing help to those who are living with prosthetic limbs.