Two undergrads from the Ryerson University in Toronto have recently come up with a new type of prosthetic arm that could impact the robotic arm industry. While it’s not the world’s first or most advanced prosthetic arm available on the market, it is touted to be the safest as well as cheaper than other offerings. Because the arm relies on simple pneumatic pumps and valves, and a tank of compressed air to move, it would cost about ¼ the price of a traditional prosthetic limb to create. And as for its “safest” claim – it doesn’t rely on invasive surgery (which is dangerous and possibly fatal) to re-route nerves to the arm for users to control it. Instead, it will rely on brain signals sent to the arm through a head-worn device (most likely through the use of an EEG). In addition to being cheaper and safe – the arm is supposedly easy to master as well, with a learning curve of 10 minutes. No word of when or if it will be commercially available, but it sure looks like medical technology is headed in the right direction with these cheaper and safer creations.
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