We have seen the reflection on the big screen thousands of times: the fusion of human flesh with microchips to create a super human. But what if cyborgs are indeed the case, but in a completely different way?
We’ve all seen movies where technology and humanity intertwine, resulting in incredible monsters. A capable hero, like Tony Stark; or something a little darker, like Terminator. Cyborgs have long been a part of the social imagination, but we’ve always kept them internalized. What if we told you that they are closer than you think?
At least that’s what researchers at the University of Cambridge believe. Tamar Makin, a professor specializing in cognitive neuroscience, studies how robotics can design additional parts for the human body. For this he gave a clear example: imagine that you dedicate yourself to the kitchen, and you want to stir the soup while you cut the vegetables for the fruits. Now, it would be completely impossible. But that would change with the addition of a robotic arm. And this is exactly what we are looking for now.
Cyborgs and 3D printing
On the side, Makin is working with designer Dani Clode, who is already designing a 3D-printed thumb that can be easily attached to either hand. It does not require complicated surgeries, as you can see in the photo that we will show below.
This extra thumb could help those serving, for example when holding a tray. As if an extra arm could help the cook, or even any of us! Who has not thought at one time that he lacks the hands for all that needs to be done? Life could be made much easier with these accessories. However, there is still much research to be done.
A team of scientists today is working on machines that work with great care and without much effort. As Makin explained, it will also serve people who don’t have all the membership. “If you’re missing a limb, instead of trying to replace it, why don’t we add a whole one so you can do more with it?” Let the truth be very important first.
We also talk about techniques that increase our abilities. The key is to add, never subtract.
It is a long journey
Despite how interesting this whole place may seem, there is still much to be researched. As Clode explained in an interview with the Guardian, the key is that these robotic parts do not require manual labor. For this, it is necessary to install pressure sensors that control these new parts of our body more or less automatically. In the thumb, for example, these sensors will be found under the big toe.
And this raises other issues, as Makin explains. Because we need to see how it can affect the nervous system if this new thumb starts to control the fingers. As much as it affects us the ability to use our fingers that are Makin wonders in this regard. Do we lose this by using them as a new thumb?
This has already been proved, since it was exhibited for the use of the Royal Society. Clode allowed members of the public to thumb test this add-on, and 98% were able to start using it in just one minute. If he already has this power, what can’t be done when his studies progress?
Will it be cyborgs? No doubt there will be many professions that will benefit from having outside members. As Clode points out, the surgeon in his study was so keen that he wanted to hold a camera while he operated and record everything. And surely many will be more willing to try!