Recently, researchers from India have demonstrated a locally-designed and manufactured artificial knee that not only provides a more comfortable experience but is cheaper compared to imported devices. What challenges do artificial limbs present, what did the researchers demonstrate, and how does this indicate the extreme costs of medical devices?
The loss of limbs has been a fact of human existence for thousands of years, whether due to an encounter with a dangerous animal, infection from disease, or an unfortunate accident. As such, the creation of artificial limbs has been an important business as being able to replace a limb can help provide independence (this is something that was particularly important in the past when life was significantly more cruel and difficult).
Fast forward to 2022, and the field of artificial limbs has come leaps and bounds thanks to the advances in robotics and AI. Some of the most advanced arms can even provide movable fingers controlled by thinking and/or motion of limbs, and this allows for numerous tasks to be possible such as holding onto objects. But for all the benefits afforded by modern technology, there are still numerous challenges presented by artificial limbs.