• Question: Do you think that, in the future, fully mind-controlled prosthetic limbs will be available? (wouldn't it be cool if you could bet legs that had built in glitzy lights that turned on when you stamped? and what if you had prosthetic legs that were, like, heelies?)

    Asked by i'm a genius! to Craig, Devon, Marta, Natalie, Nicholas on 14 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Natalie Doig

      Natalie Doig answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      That is a great question. We will definitely have fully mind controlled prosthetic limbs in the future, and probably in the not too distant future! That area of research is called ‘brain-computer interface’ have a look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface
      I love the idea of lights and heelies – and I don’t see any reason why those would not be possible! 🙂

    • Photo: Nicholas Younger

      Nicholas Younger answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      Well I think there will be, and I really hope there will. I’ve got a left arm deformation and the only thing stopping me from getting a prosthetic is that they don’t work well enough yet. I think there is a limb out there which can be pretty well controlled by the mind, but I don’t think we’re there yet. Maybe you can invent one when you become a scientist!?


    • Photo: Marta Varela

      Marta Varela answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      Hi Genius!

      Yes, I do think fully mind-controlled prosthetic limbs will be available soon. Some are available right now that can already do quite sophisticated motions. If the limbs were for me, I would go for a natural look and opt out of the flashing lights, but hey, no harm in having that option available…

    • Photo: Craig O'Hare

      Craig O'Hare answered on 14 Mar 2017:

      Ooooh I really like this idea!

      As the others have pointed out the technology for mind controlled prosthetic limbs is currently being developed so we’ll likely see them in the near feature.

      This isn’t related but your comment about lights reminded me of this video by Japanese artist/scientist Sputniko!’s video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P1uFNdKdQA

      It’s a really cool project and was inspired by new data generated by the Johnston Space Centre that would allow high heel space heels to be made on the moon’s surface with a lunar rover and the story of a 13 year old Japanese girl who launched her Hello Kitty doll into space. The project also points out that even though man walked on the moon over 50 years ago no woman has done that yet, maybe things will be different when we make it to Mars?