The History of Prosthetics Reveals a Long Tradition of Human Cyborgs

For centuries, humans have invented ingenious devices to replace lost limbs. Here we have a gallery of some of the most cutting-edge prosthetics from years past — comparable to today's bionic arms. What's fascinating is that these historic devices weren't just about limb replacement, but also enhancement. » 3/27/14 3:41pm 3/27/14 3:41pm

A Cybernetic Implant That Repairs Brain Damage

There may be an answer for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. It's a device called a brain-machine-brain interface — and it has the potential to revolutionize the way brain damage is treated in humans. » 12/10/13 8:15am 12/10/13 8:15am

Bionic humans are about to get an upgrade, thanks to monkey cyborgs

In a big step towards making humans more bionic, scientists have trained monkeys to control not just one, but two virtual arms by thoughts alone. The work could someday be a boon to double amputees or quadriplegics. » 11/11/13 11:20am 11/11/13 11:20am

How Close Are We to Building a Full-Fledged Cyborg?

The dream of the cyborg is coming true at an exhilarating rate. As humans gets better and better at making machines, we keep attaching those machines to our bodies to make ourselves better humans. It seems at times that the only question left is if we can put a human brain in a robotic frame. Actually, it's not a… » 10/22/13 5:53pm 10/22/13 5:53pm

A Major Breakthrough in Bringing the Sense of Touch to Prosthetic Limbs

Prosthetic limbs have gotten more lifelike — and also more useful — recently. But how do you let people feel what they're touching? Recently, scientists have developed a number of supersensitive artificial skins, but the goal of restoring sensation has remained elusive. That is, until now. » 10/15/13 10:39am 10/15/13 10:39am

The world’s first mind-controlled robotic leg is ready for prime time

Late last year we told you about Zac Vawter, recipient of the first mind-controlled prosthetic leg. Now, after extensive testing and a series of important tweaks, the device is ready for actual clinical applications. Your cyborg future awaits. » 9/26/13 8:40am 9/26/13 8:40am

I Wore a Bionic Leg, And I Never Wanted To Take It Off Again

Say you've just had ACL surgery. Or you're recovering from a bad break. Or, worse, you suffer a stroke, or MS, or spinal or neurological damage. Regaining the power to walk is one of the toughest things you can do, and it may be impossible without a crutch, rail, or physical therapist to lean on. The AlterG Bionic… » 7/10/13 5:37pm 7/10/13 5:37pm

Brilliant and bejeweled prostheses designed to stand out instead of…

While many prosthetic limbs are either purely functional, or designed to somewhat resemble the limbs they replace, the prostheses designed by Sophie de Oliveira Barata for her Alternative Limb Project celebrate their artificial nature. This design studio creates personalized limbs that offer a beauty very distinct from … » 4/06/13 5:00pm 4/06/13 5:00pm

This wireless brain implant could make telekinesis a reality

Brown University researchers have developed a fully implantable and rechargeable wireless brain sensor capable of transmitting neural data to an external receiver. The system, which has performed remarkably well in monkeys and pigs for over a year, could eventually allow humans to control external devices with their… » 3/05/13 8:00am 3/05/13 8:00am

Two hobbyists create a DiY prosthetic hand for a 5-year-old boy in…

A special effects artist and woodworker living hundreds of miles apart have pieced together a prosthetic hand for a 5-year-old South African boy who was born without fingers on his right hand. Using a 3D printer, along with bits of cable, bungee cord returns, and rubber thimbles, the two men collaborated over the… » 2/07/13 3:00pm 2/07/13 3:00pm

New implant allows the blind to stream Braille directly onto their…

In a medical first, researchers have streamed Braille patterns directly onto a blind person's retina, allowing him or her to read letters and words visually, with almost 90% accuracy. Developed by researchers at Second Sight, the headset-like device is set to revolutionize the way degenerative eye diseases like… » 11/22/12 11:24am 11/22/12 11:24am

This remarkable prosthetic hand was made for a 16th-century knight

A few weeks ago, we discussed the amazing prosthetic designs of 16th-century surgeon Ambroise Paré. Fortunately, a few mechanical prosthetics from that early era of artificial limbs survived, including this piece, worn by German Imperial Knight and mercenary Götz von Berlichingen. » 10/14/12 11:00am 10/14/12 11:00am

Lasers power Pentagon’s next-gen artificial limbs

The Pentagon's already got brain-controlled prosthetics, and they are a major improvement over old-school artificial limbs. The devices are far from perfect, however. They rely on metal implants, which aren't compatible with the body's tissues, and they can only transmit a few signals at a time - turning what should be … » 11/05/11 9:25am 11/05/11 9:25am

Voluntary amputees opt for bionic hands over real ones

After being electrocuted at work, a young Austrian man named Patrick found that he could no longer move one of his hands. He lived with the injury for a few years, but then decided he'd rather amputate the hand and replace it with something bionic - a synthetic hand controlled by nerve signals from his brain. The new… » 5/19/11 9:30am 5/19/11 9:30am