Research Report

Part 1:                                                                  Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineers look at past, present and innovative technologies that can improve our everyday lives.

Part 2:

For my interview i had the opportunity of interviewing a man who had lost his arm in a work accident. His name is Gregory Daniels and he used to be a sheet metal worker for Unison Sheet Products. I chose to interview Gregory so that i can get in the mind of an amputee. To see how losing the limb changes there life and if any struggles have occurred since. Interviewing him was a great idea, I now know how much peoples lives change and how much these neuro prosthetics can come in handy.

The interview took place in the Montreal General Hospital, where Gregory works as an orderly. We were sitting in a hospital room that was rather empty. There was no bed, no machines, just a sink and a few empty glove boxes lying around. However he did set up a small table and two chairs for use to have our interview. The setting did contribute to the interview, because i feel a if the setting was a fair reflection of reality. What i mean by this is, the room looked as if it used to be used and fully functioning but now is not the same as it used to be and it is neglected rather than appreciated. The interview felt a little professional at first, but once i started asking him more personal questions, it felt like we were just two people have a nice chat and getting to know each other. In all honesty, I didn’t really know what to expect for this interview, but all in all i could say that it was very successful.

Gregory in simple terms is a “Saint”. From the start he was pleased when i asked him if he wouldn’t mind being interviewed. Throughout the interview he was always using a very polite tone of voice and never any foul language. He kept telling me that even though he had lost his arm he was thankful that he hadn’t lost his life. You can also tell by the way he couldn’t sit in the same position for more than 5 minutes that he is someone that likes to always be moving and doing something. Which made me feel bad knowing that he can’t do everything that he would possibly want to do.

The most successful question i asked him was “What changed?”, this questions also lead to other questions like “How does it feel?”, “How did it affect your marriage?” and “Would you like to be able to do everything you were once able to do?”. The reason why i think these where the most successful, well for starters these where the questions that he really elaborated on. To me these ones where the most important ones as well. These questions also brought out emotions from Gregory, he even started to tear up at some points, which made me realize the importance of Neuro prosthetics even more.

The most successful answers are the one to the questions i had previously mentioned. When i asked “what changed” he looked at me and said everything, from the moment the accident happened and he was rushed to the hospital he knew life wouldn’t be the same when he would wake up, and it wasn’t. For the first year he did do much, his average day was to wake up and go watch tv. He was afraid of doing things because he only had one functioning arm and when ever he couldn’t do something he would get very depressed. Then all of a sudden things changed, his wife forced him to go join an amputee community and he did. They showed him how to do things and they supported him not to give up. He told me that if it wasn’t for them he probably would’ve died in his basement. They brought joy back into his life and he is very thankful for that. He also told me it did affect his marriage but only because he let it, he started treating his wife differently because he was always depressed and angry. Once he got his life back on track he told me there wasn’t a day that he wouldn’t apologize for being the monster that he was and that he loved her for staying with him during that period. When I asked him if he would like to do what he used to be able to do, he gave me this look, and then he smiled. He told me that their isn’t a day that goes by that he would like to be back in the shop working with the metal. He misses the smell of oils burning, the noise of metal clinging and of course the ability to use both hands. When i mentioned neuro prosthetics, he interrupted me halfway trough my question and told me that he is waiting, waiting for the day they call him to tell him he has been accepted for trials. He told me that it might be the only chance he has in getting his old life back.

After having done this interview i could say that an amputee goes trough a huge change inter life, it is almost as if they have been reborn yet with a deficiency. They need to learn to live a completely different life then they used to, most even lose their current jobs. This how ever is something that can be change with neuro prosthetics. With this technology nothing has to change, they will simply be modified instead of reborn. From what Gregory told me he would’ve preferred that much more.

Part 3:

“Neural Interfaces and Neuroprosthetics.” Neural Interfaces and Neuroprosthetics. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/bioinspiredtechnology/research/neural>.

This article informs me about what part’s of the brain need to be monitored to make a neural prosthetic limb possible. This will help me get a better understanding of the brain and how complex it is. It will make me understand what parts are needed for the ability to send and receive the pulses from the prosthetic arm. I learned a lot more about the brain activity after reading this article then i knew before hand.

“Neuroprosthetics Research Group.” (NRG). Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://www.bme.miami.edu/nrg/>

This article informed me on the way’s to implicate the technology to ones brain. They are a research group, therefor they can also just be testing this method. Which makes this article useful, how ever it isn’t a definite procedure, then again there aren’t any definite procedures since this type of limb does not exist yet. It does describe the technological device that could be used on the brain to create and receive impulse generated by the limb.

“Accessibility Links.” Bionic Arm. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://cnp.epfl.ch/op/edit/page-87258.html>.

This webpage tells us about the latest progress in prosthetic arms. How they will function and that they will be covered with a polymer that ecstatically is similar to skin. It also explains in five simplified steps how the technology will work. Similarly as the others, electric pulses will be used to trigger the nerves i the brain to create movement.

Leudthart, Eric C. “Neuroprosthetics.” The-Scientist.com. The Scientist, 1 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.<http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41324/title/Neuroprosthetics/>

This article has helped me a lot. It speaks about about every step in developing the neuroprosthetic limb. It all starts with impulse sensor that generate and receive impulses. They then hook it up to a software that make you able to control a virtual limb, as if you were playing a game. This is used to prepare the patient for there neuroprosthetic limb.

Kwok, Robeta. Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 8 May 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nature.com/news/neuroprosthetics-once-more-with-feeling-1.12938>.

This article speaks about the use of a prosthetic arm for people that are paralyzed. It describes its functionality and how it will work. All of the methods take neuro sensors, but they are all being implemented differently. This one is special because we are talking about giving someone an arm that works when they never had one to begin with.

“Neural Prosthetics | Technoprogressive Wiki.” Neural Prosthetics | Technoprogressive Wiki. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://ieet.org/index.php/tpwiki/neuroprosthetics>.

This text explains the general uses of neuroprosthetics. It shows us multiple examples of where and how the technology could be applied. Also it explains to us why this is important. This will help me with giving reasons why society should be interested in this biomedical advancement.

“About Neuro-Prosthetics.” WalkAide. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://www.walkaide.com/MedicalProfessionals/Pages/AboutNeuroProsthetics.aspx>.

This is a exterior device used to aid the ability to walk. This is not a prosthetic how ever the technology it uses can be helpful to my research. It is a device made to restore the ability to walk for patience who have suffered from a stroke or slight spinal chord injury. It always works with the nerves which can help my research.

“Experiment: NeuroProsthetics.” Experiment: NeuroProsthetics. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <https://backyardbrains.com/experiments/neuroProsthetics>.

On this website we learn about neuro spikes that create movements. I shows us a basic experiment that can help anyone understand the power of and electronic impulse and how it can be used to move our bodies. This will help me explain the technology in simple terms so that any reader can understand my article.

“MP – Paralysis Support – Neuroprosthetics.” Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://www.themiamiproject.org/mp/paralysis-support/Neuroprosthetics>.

This website provides a description of how muscular movement can be restored to damaged nerves in the body. This is not a neuroprosthetic limb, but a exterior device that can be used to “recover” motion in a part of the body. If you got into an accident and your left arm became paralyzed this can help generate movement in your arm once again.

“Pitt Team Publishes New Findings from Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Project.” Brain Computer Interface Media Kit. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <http://upmc.com/media/media-kit/bci/Pages/default.aspx>.

This article talks about a brain controlled robotic arm. These inventions are what makes neuroprosthetics a near future. The problem is making them lightweight and appealing. Also to be able to use them without a bunch of wires attached to your head. That way society won’t look at you in a strange manner, telling them self “look at that robot”.

What do engineers do:

http://www.imeche.org/about-us/our-vision

What is neuro technology:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-neurotechnology.htm

1.6 million in neuroimplants tech:

http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=14225.php

2.2 billion cancer:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013/02/07/where_do_the_millions_of_cancer_research_dollars_go_every_year.html

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