Sep 4

This Incredible Gesture from the Alfred Mann Foundation Helped a Retired Marine Reclaim his Life

Category: Science,Technology

Meet the recipient of the world’s first robotic hand.

Soldiers are devoted to this country in a way that few professionals are. They are willing to sacrifice life and limb, and sometimes their duty calls them to do just that. During his second tour of Afghanistan, when Staff Sergeant James Sides encountered an IED he did not hesitate to act. He immediately began the process of disarming the bomb, but something went wrong.

An explosion threw him from his position, disorienting him. As he tried to pick himself up he realized that his forearm had shattered from the impact. He had also lost his entire right hand.

Although Sides made a full recovery, he lamented that his life would never be the same. That’s where the Alfred Mann Foundation found a way to step in and help. The Foundation began in 1985. Alfred Mann, who himself had a long history making prosthetics and bionics for multiple parts of the body, wanted to tackle the challenge of assisting individuals with debilitating handicaps. With the help of Rogers and Cowan, and Executive Vice President Steve Doctrow, the Foundation set out to debut their scientific breakthrough.

The Alfred Mann Foundation fitted Sides with a revolutionary device that relies on embedded electronics to function. A small transceiver was surgically inserted into Sides’ muscles. This device reads the movements of his muscle and his arms and translates that data into motions of the hand. All of this happens in mere moments.

The future of medicine will deal extensively with this interaction between man and machine. The technology used to produce the hand for Sides demonstrates an acute knowledge of the human body. Prosthetics, especially robotics, will lead to dramatic improvements in the quality of life for these individuals.

No comments

Comments are closed.