March 26, 2006
Prosthetic linbs have really come a long way. Now we have instances of people controlling fully integrated artificial limbs with their regular nervous system.
His arms were amputated. Jesse woke from a monthlong coma to discover his limbs gone, his life changed…Dr. Kuiken explained to me that, shortly after the accident, Jesse underwent surgery, and was essentially rewired. Live nerves that control arm and hand movements — nerves that were severed — were re-directed to Jesse’s pectoral muscles in his chest. Electrodes were then attached to the chest, and connected to the robotic arm.
For 59-year-old Jesse Sullivan, who lives in Dayton, Tennessee, it’s all part of everyday life in. Jesse is a bionic man. Think science fiction…Jesse’s brain now thinks that when his pectoral muscles move, his arm, wrist and elbow are moving. When Dr. Kuiken touches points on his chest, Jesse feels as if the doctor is touching his thumb, or the palm of his hand.
The dawning of the cyborg has arrived. Currently, we only envision replacing lost limbs. At some point when this becomes commonplace, we will most likely begin to envision radically different forms of body modification.