Researchers at the university of Heidelberg seem to have perfected the FluidHand, a prosthetic arm with the ability to manipulate each finger individually and provide sensory feedback to its user:
The flexible drives are located directly in the movable finger joints and operate on the biological principle of the spider leg – to flex the joints, elastic chambers are pumped up by miniature hydraulics. In this way, index finger, middle finger and thumb can be moved independently. The prosthetic hand gives the stump feedback, enabling the amputee to sense the strength of the grip.
An 18 year old born with a congenital limb deficiency is apparently very enthusiastic, prompting Futurismic to muse: “I don’t think it’s science fictional to suggest that we’ll be seeing prosthetic limbs that equal the functionality of the organic originals within a decade.”
I certainly hope that’s true. But I have a friend who was born deaf. A couple years ago, she got Cochlear Implants, which resulted in her being able to hear, but her being ostracized by her friends in the deaf community as some sort of race traitor. I wonder: do you think, if prosthetic technology becomes sufficiently advanced, we’ll see a backlash from the congenitally limb deficient community? I can’t imagine it from amputees, but what about those born without limbs? What do you think?