If it wouldn’t be completely ironic to do so, we could write at length about the value of elegance in simplicity. Instead, we offer by way of example this tentacle-like prosthesis designed by recent U. of Washington industrial design grad Kaylene Kau. It’s simple, both aesthetically and mechanically, and it solves a problem smartly.
It seems like every few weeks someone claims to have built the newest and most revolutionary prosthetic hand, and while breakthroughs on that front are amazing, what about all the partial-hand amputees, those that have only lost a finger or two, or perhaps a thumb? UK firm Touch Bionics has introduced a system geared directly toward those that, though missing a digit or four, still have working muscle and tendon in their hands. These bionic fingers let their wearers--a 1.2-million-strong group that, until now, has been largely ignored--regain the ability to type, use a fork and knife and more.
Using the same set of data--an analysis of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius and his carbon fiber Cheetah prosthetic legs--two teams of researchers have come to very different conclusions on whether his prostheses give him an advantage over sprinters with both of their legs.
The future of modern prostheses' usage in sports hangs in the balance, and the fight is getting ugly.