Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Helping Hand - Bionic Arm now a Reality

Future of Human Augmentation:

Artificial augmentation of humans is the core flash-point between the different factions in the Sci-Fi game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, coming on August 23. But mechanically augmented humans aren’t science fiction anymore.

Robotics startup "Open Bionics" has created an artificial arm based on the augmented human character, Adam Jensen, in "Deus Ex". It’s part of a bigger merchandising plan to bring the universe of Deus Ex to life. The prosthetic arm and hand operate via remote control, using Razer’s Stargazer camera and motion-tracking technology. Intel has also helped.

Eidos Montreal, the studio making the game, began working a while ago with its partners to bring Deus Ex-inspired augmentations to life. They’re bridging the gap between fiction and reality with technologies such as 3D printing, scanning, bionics, and motion sensing.
“Our friends kept telling us to make something with Open Bionics in real life,” said Sacha Ramtohul, community manager at Eidos Montreal, in an interview with "GamesBeat". “We got together last year to start on it. Open Bionics is still working on the technology.”
They are creating affordable 3D-printed bionic hands that could work for people who need them. The “Augmented Future” initiative is eerily close the story line of Deus Ex. Except it is happening even sooner than the original game creators predicted. In the game, the big year is 2027, but at 2017, They are even farther along than anticipated. But this “Trans-human” project definitely a case of life imitating art.

The Razer “Stargazer” camera and a motion tracking technology will help to bring this bionic arm initiative to a virtual setting, allowing people to digitally ‘try on’ the arm at events, effectively enabling a real-time demonstration of how the arm would look and move if it they were actually using it.

The first arms are expected to debut in 2017. The Deus Ex team started working on the project in 2015 with Open Bionics. Open Bionics is based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the biggest robotics lab in Europe. The company’s arms tend to be cheaper than other bionic limbs because they are based on 3D-printed designs. So, almost every disabled person will now be able to interact again. And the bionic arm may not feel like real thing but it is a lot better than nothing..

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