Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'60 Minutes' Video: The Pentagon's Bionic Arm

"When Americans are wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq, no expense is spared to save their lives. But once they're home, if they have suffered an amputation of their arm, they usually end up wearing an artificial limb that hasn't changed much since World War II.

In all the wonders of modern medicine, building a robotic arm with a fully functioning hand has not been remotely possible. But as 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley reports, that is starting to change. One remarkable leap in technology is called the DEKA arm and it's just one of the breakthroughs in a $100 million Pentagon program called "Revolutionizing Prosthetics."

This is precisely the kind of stuff I want to get into when I'm done with my Bioengineering degree. In fact, for a Freshman Engineering Conference, I collaborated with a partner and wrote a professional grade paper on the military applications of tissue engineering. Maybe I'm closer to achieving my goals than I think.