Two interesting bits of news that don’t intersect but are related nonetheless have been making their way around the web. First up, there will be a conference held on August 3rd at the The Paley Center for Media in New York City , New York. It will be based around Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and the rise of augmentations in our society within the near future.
They’re going to have people on a discussion panel covering the ethics of augmentations, the science of augmentations and the future of augmentations, according to a report by Game Informer. This conference will be held in connection with Courageous, the new CNN subsidiary for branded content (perhaps that’s another phrase for native advertising?)
The event will be live-streamed through the Deus Ex Twitch.tv channel, or if you have the cash on hand you can attend in person.
This follows shortly after the announcement during this year’s E3 where Open Bionics and Eidos revealed that the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided robotic prosthetic limbs will be available to consumers in early 2017.
In related news about bionic prostheses, the Mirror is reporting that the LiNX prosthetic leg uses advanced Mi technology (known as motion integrated intelligence) where the processor within the leg continually reads and sends data to the ankle and knee in order to adjust how it traverses the terrain.
The bio-mimetic hydraulic ankle utilizes data captured and stored from the sensory arrays to quickly and easily adjust the positioning, pressure and angles to make the wearer as comfortable as possible. A lot of people who wear prosthetic limbs complain of having to constantly readjust their body to compensate for the weight they would usually put on an arm or leg, causing lots of discomfort in the process.
According to the technical director at Blatchford, Professor Sayeed Zahedi, he explained to the Mirror…
“We use a whole array of sensors to sense the environment, whether the person is standing, sitting, walking on the flat, going up or down a ramp, or up or down stairs.
“We can then use information from those sensors that are measuring the ankle function to instruct the knee, and use the knee sensors to instruct the ankle, so there is a continuous dialogue between the two joints”
Bio-mimesis for robotic prostheses is imperative for getting the hardware to function with the “software” so to speak. It’s one of the processes that DARPA is using for their upcoming robotic limbs, which are due for release possibly within the next year or so. A lot of it relies on data collection and adjustments for repeated use without long wait times in the prosthetic’s reactions.
Some researchers are trying to find an even faster way to get read times on robotic prosthetic limbs, including using neural implants, so there’s a 1:1 neural interface between the bionic limb, the nerves and the neurological highway that connects them all together. This bypasses the need for bio-mimetic implementation but also comes with a lot of surgical supplements. Some researchers are trying to find ways around the need for lots of surgery to get robotic prostheses to make use of neural interfaces.
However, on the upside a report from June 1st, 2016 by Science Daily reported that prostheses that utilizes surgical implementation runs a low risk of developing infections within patients. So DARPA’s tactic of using bio-engineered materials to surgically implement stumps that work with electronic limbs could be one of the many possible futures regarding prosthetic limb replacement.
The only scary thing is if people start biologically rejecting the implants and require a drug to help acclimate to the prostheses. Why is that scary? Because that’s literally the plot to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.