The Tech Behind: Prosthetics


From time to time, I’m asked by my editors at Maximum PC to piece together a feature that relates how something cool, but somewhat mysterious, works. I look forward to doing work like this, as it provides a nice break from my usual how-to writing, and forces me to research a topic I have little or no knowledge of. This time around, the topic was prosthetics. 

Prosthetics is a blanket term for damn near anything artificial that replaces a body part. When you mutter the word, you could be talking about a fake eyeball, artificial lungs or a replacement valve for someone’s heart. As I only had around 2000 words to tinker with here, I opted to go with artificial limbs, as they’re something that we’ve all seen before, whether in person or in the media, but likely don’t have a great understanding of.

Well, at least I didn’t until I got down to doing a bit of research.

The feature was a joy to research, but near the end, became something of a pain to write. There’s just so much to this topic that I had a hard time feeling that I did it anything close to justice with such a narrow word count. This is a fascinating area of technology folks, and it’s totally worth delving deeper into if you ever have the chance. 

If you’re interested in taking a boo at the story I pieced together, you can see it here.