Bionics from Mercedes?

A fellow student brought this little news snippet to my attention:

As you may recall earlier this month I also mentioned about Mathew Green; a man whose life may have been saved by an artificial heart. While in this case matters might not be so dramatic there are some notable things to consider.

When I was looking at Deka’s ‘Luke arm’ I noted that funding, distribution and affordability for the average amputee would inevitably be problematic given the costly development and components. Touch Bionics’ i-Limb Pulse doesn’t appear quite as cutting edge as the latter but is still said to cost a hefty £30,000. Originally the wearer Matthew James – somewhat craftily – was said to have offered the Mercedes Formula One team advertising space on the arm in exchange for the funding required to purchase it and while they may not have agreed directly to this their actual response is perhaps more impressive.

Apparently they managed to make a deal with Touch Bionics by exchanging technological secrets, knocking £25,000 off the cost of the prosthetic in the process to make it affordable. Besides personally being good news for Matthew it interests me that such an exchange could be organised, where the micro electronics from F1 racing are potentially utilised in bionics with two otherwise separate industries bettering each other.

It’s in trade offs like these that realistic and affordable options might be found in future, offering a potential solution to the problematic price tags that currently accompany such prosthetics. Something to consider in my fictional setting, but something I also hope comes to pass in reality someday soon.

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2 Responses to Bionics from Mercedes?

  1. demontales says:

    I’m really amazed at how far these prosthetics can get now.

    • Ozy says:

      @demontales: Same, there’s been an incredible amount of development in the last decade or so. It makes you wonder how advanced they could become in the next…

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