This is a story about how technology is making things better. About 840 times better.
What’s represented by that multiple is price — the far lower price of a machine that 53-year-old Jose Delgado Jr. uses instead of the left hand he was born without.
For three years he had used a prosthesis costing $42,000. Its myoelectric technology detects electrical signals in muscle tissue in order to operate prosthetic fingers.
But the gadget’s capacity to grip? Rudimentary.
Now Delgado has a more capable prosthesis, the result of the latest technological breakthrough.
And it costs just 50 bucks.
It’s hard to see what can be controversial about Delgado’s new 3D-printed prosthesis, though.
Is the price for real? Perhaps the $50 incorporates only immediate production costs, and that other factors involved in developing and marketing the Cyborg Beast could make it pricier. But given what’s been demonstrated, even its most expensive incarnations would have to be orders of magnitude cheaper than earlier prosthetic tech.
It also does the job better.
The Beast’s mechanical plastic fingers are much better articulated than those of its predecessor. It grips objects more firmly and precisely, manipulates them more dexterously. Delgado dramatically demonstrates the superiority in a YouTube video produced by 3D Universe.
Such products of human ingenuity are stunning. Yet soon we’ll take for granted what they now make possible for the first time. And there’s a lot more to come. We live in interesting times.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.