I came across this picture yesterday, and was blown away. Prosthetic limbs have advanced in leaps and bounds over the years, but nothing to the extend of what you see on TV or in the movies. For example, in the Star Wars movies (most of them) LukeThese limbs are essentially computers and motors on his arms that literally act just as if he had his original hands. This would be an amazing accomplishment, but reality does not reflect this image.  Today, companies have created software that interacts with your brain, to actually move your prosthesis, making this lost limb, re-usable again (to an extent). From my minimal research,I found that these programs were clunky, and hard to use, and often intrusive on the individual. 


Upon viewing this picture, I instantly recognized that this was different. The cool arm bands he is wearing are actually gesture recognition sensors designed to control devices. These sensors were created by Myo. 

Myo Gesture Control Armbands
These bands are a widely used system. They interact with many devices with very little issue. You can visit the Myo marketplace to get an idea of some of the connections. This device uses the sensors that are located in the blocks to sense the slightest movement/gesture. These movements are then translated into programmed motions within the gesture controlled device.

Watch this video to get a sense of what I am talking about

How This Connects
With the simplicity at the heart of this tool, the user has the opportunity to make their prosthetic sense/do whatever you like. I would assume that the creator of this prosthetic above used Sphero motors, which already have Myo interaction software installed. In this setting, the Sphero motors could be programmed to:
  • Open and close hands
  • Rotate wrists
  • Grasp and lift items
  • Mirror the opposite arm
  • Bend at the elbow
  • And create many individual finger motions
The programming aspects of this beg the idea of what is really possible. Simple sensors such as this, can allow the user can basically do anything they choose. The freedom of being able to remove your prosthesis, along with the sensors, makes the opportunity very exciting! Before, you could imagine computer chips being embedded into your brain, or wires running along your skull. This opportunity allows you to take off, clean, replace anything with ease without anything entering your body!

This is just the ground floor for using gesture recognition when controlling prosthetic limbs. In my opinion, the creator of Myo may have just stubled into the greatest invention of the 21st century!