Prosthetic limbs have come a long way. Newer bionic models facilitate natural human movement and help amputees regain their active lifestyles. As the New York Times reports, the advancement of artificial limbs has led many amputees to elect to lose more of their healthy flesh so that they can be fitted with newer models.
Instead of doing everything possible to preserve and live with whatever is left of their limbs, some are opting to amputate more extensively to regain something more akin to normal function.
Citing the research of a prosthetics start up, iWalk, the article states:
The goal is to build artificial limbs that resemble human arms in dexterity, strength, size and weight — and that veterans one day may control with their brains. The scientists plan to insert a small array of electrodes into the cortex, the brain’s top layer, or into peripheral nerves.
Controlling an artificial limb with thought instead of lifting a metal extension with existing muscle seems both futuristically bizarre and wonderfully intuitive.