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I was pondering how one might traverse an area like the "stone forest" in Madagascar. Extremely long telescoping stilts are the obvious answer. However, such devices and others like them might be cumbersome to use.
I propose that telescoping stilts and other super prosthesis be equipped with an
artificial intelligence to aid the user and avoid accidents. It seems like scifi but AIs are now routinely incorporated into limb prostheses. These AIs try to make the prosthesis act more like a natural limb. But could one not make unnatural prostheses capable of superhuman feats - extra length, many joints, supernumerary fingers etc. Our mental hardware is not evolved to operate such limbs but this is where the AI comes in: the AI learns and adapts the function of the limb, facilitating its use.
Not easy to walk through it. Unless you have very long, thin legs. [bungston, Apr 14 2010]
Now. [bungston, Apr 14 2010]
[DrBob, Apr 15 2010]
Mentally controlled prosthesis
[DrBob, Apr 15 2010]
TED talk on the latest prosthetics
[simonj, Apr 16 2010]
||I seem to remember a psychology study where they got monkeys to remotely control various devices...extra un-natural (for a monkey) robotic arms and such (from behind a glass panel). The found that after a while, no matter what the external device is, if you control it with your brain, your brain starts to percieve it as being a natural part of your body after a while.
||trying to find the actual study...
||I like this a lot. I think the idea is a little bit vague
(except for the telescoping stilts - which I think would be
tricky to implement), but I still like it.
||If someone loses a limb, the common response is to make
something that looks like the original and functions as
much like the original as possible - both of these aims
seem to fail. So, if prosthetologists instead took each
person as a blank canvas and said "OK, here's an arm-
stump; what can we do with it that's cool?", the world
might be a slightly better place. [+]
||Okay, but then the AI program is going to overwhelm
your control and then you'll have to go on to fight
||+ from me. The tendency to create prostheses that look 'natural' is a natural inclination but perhaps misguided. For example, look at all the controversy about Oscar Pistorius' artificial legs.
Per ShawnBob's anno, I don't think the AI is necessary either.
||a bit saddened that they amputated that kid's extra fingers and toes (recent news), woulda made a helluva anything involving digital manipulation.
||Where's [oneoffdave] when you really need him?
||[FT] I wonder if such a person would have a case to sue for damages when they come of age?
||Yeah, this is all fine. In ten years time we'll all
have a collection of robots (not the terminator),
and many more people will be part-robotic. Right
now there are some incredible arms, which are thought controlled - and the idea here is that
they could be different shapes to the original
body part. This is fine, and more-or-less
inevitable. What interests me is - how versatile is
the human brain? If you were to put a baby's brain
into - a dolphin... would it 'get the hang' of the
dolphin ? or is it So hard-wired as a human that it
would be unable to control the body? Robotics will
expose this. I'm quite sure it's versatile enough to
control some pretty odd-ball limbs. Consider -
controlling a helicopter, a piano, or horse. But, as eluded to in the posts, once AI comes on the
scene - your brain won't need to control them, as
long as there is a 'gist' - software should be able to
control the specific limbs to get the 'result' it
knows you want. Which opens the opportunities
up still further.
||[nicholaswhitworth] If they can get a small portion of rat brain to fly a plane, I reckon a baby would be able to pilot a dolphin...
||Amazing photos, [bungston]! I love the pure white lemurs and the shocking pink dragonfly.