teisipäev, 5. veebruar 2008

Innovatsioon 2008: Star Wars andis käe

Proteeside väljatöötamise lugu on kujunenud kuidagi sedasi, et kui jalaproteeside teemal on tänapäeva meditsiinitehnoloogia ületamas 21. sajandi lävepakku, siis käeproteeside arendus on kuni viimase ajani kulgenud seal kuskil dinosauruste ajastu piirimail. Seda hetkeni, kuni veebruarikuine inseneriteaduste lipulaev IEEE Spectrum avaldas oma vastilmunud veebruarinumbris pikema ülevaate USA Kaitseuuringute Agentuuri DARPA poolt rahastatud ja kuulsa John Hopkinsi Ülikooli JHU poolt realiseeritud kolmeaastase projekti tulemused. Nimelt annab JHU Spectrumi vahendusel teada, et on valmis saanud täistehnoloogilise käe proteesi prototüübi, ristinimega "Luke arm". Kes legendaarset Star Wars kangelast Luke Skywalkerit mäletab, siis väidetavalt on proteesi disainlahendus just selle ekraanitegelase käeasendajast inspireeritud (vaata pilti).

The Luke arm grew out of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, which was created in 2005 to fund the development of two arms. The first initiative, the four-year, US $30.4 million Revolutionizing Prosthetics contract, to be completed in 2009, led by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., seeks a fully functioning, neurally controlled prosthetic arm using technology that is still experimental.

Valminud prototüüp on täna võimeline sooritama lihtsamaid operatsioone alates teretamisest kuni võtmega ukse avamise või laualt nõude korjamiseni. Kokku kuus eelprogrammeeritud operatsiooni peaks küll katma suurema osa igapäevastest käeliigutustest, kuid kahtlemata pole prototüüp veel täiuslik. Samas, töö, mis proteesi funktsionaalsuse "päris" käega sarnaseks muutmiseks on tehtud, lubab tulevikuks paljugi:

Engineers worked closely with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where neuroscientist Todd Kuiken has had recent successes in surgically rerouting amputees’ residual nerves—which connect the upper spinal cord to the 70 000 nerve fibers in the arm—to impart the ability to “feel” the stimulation of a phantom limb. Normally, the nerves travel from the upper spinal cord across the shoulder, down into the armpit, and into the arm. Kuiken pulled them away from the armpit and under the clavicle to connect to the pectoral muscles. The patient thinks about moving the arm, and signals travel down nerves that were formerly connected to the native arm but are now connected to the chest. The chest muscles then contract in response to the nerve signals. The contractions are sensed by electrodes on the chest, the electrodes send signals to the motors of the prosthetic arm—and the arm moves. With Kuiken’s surgery, a user can control the Luke arm with his or her own muscles, as if the arm were an extension of the person’s flesh. However, the Luke arm also provides feedback to the user without surgery.

Kui käe testimine kulgeb plaanipäraselt, lubab DARPA, et esimesed "neuro-tehnoloogilised" proteesid paigaldatakse vajajatele juba 2009. aastal.

1 kommentaar:

Yedi ütles ...

http://www.starwars.com/databank/character/lukeskywalker/

On the swamp planet of Dagobah, Luke learned the ways of the Force from Yoda the Jedi Master. Yoda honed Luke's Jedi abilities, but his training was cut short as Luke had to go rescue his friends on Bespin. Little did Luke know that it was all an elaborate trap devised by Darth Vader. Luke confronted Vader in Bespin's Cloud City, and was bested by him in a lightsaber duel. Luke suffered the loss of his hand, and the revelation that Darth Vader was in fact his father. Luke was rescued from Cloud City by Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, and eventually returned to the Rebel fleet. Droid surgeons equipped Luke with a cybernetic replacement hand.