"I'm a cybernetic organism: living tissue over a metal endoskeleton."

Dean Kamen has finally put all those dollars he earned from the Segway to work -- in building a prototype harbinger of human doom -- a cyborg arm for the Department of Defense. Remember all the hype about the "It" -- that wonderous device of heady techno-futurism, ripped from the agglomerated headlines of sci-fi novels and movies from the past fifty years? It was supposed to revolutionize our lives. Then we find out it's the Segway and the only thing it "revolutionized" was Mr. Kamen's pocketbook and the current U.S. president's reputation for being inept at piloting a two-wheeled device balanced by gyroscopes and that is more adeptly driven by children.

Funded by shady defense dollars and under the auspices of "social contribution," Mr. Kamen has developed the prototype cyborg arm in thirteen months for returning Iraq war veterans. The arm, when attached to a human host, has the capability for completing fine-grained activities such as picking up a piece of paper, holding a pen, or manipulating a glass. See the arm in action here, and read more about it here and here. Indeed, this is a triumph of technology -- one that shall soon overshadow and topple humanity!

Given his track record with the "It"/Segway, we can all project the logical consequences of this latest invention. Sure the DoD wants to put on a "friendly face" to families of injured war vets, all the while lining the pockets of Mr. Kamen. We can be certain that nefarious intent for a cyborg arm this sophisticated lies just around the corner, if we are willing to overcome our fears and peek over the next hill of innovation to observe the true motivations.

Cyborg arms of the future allow self-service, which will keep health-care costs low.

Most interestingly is the case of "life imitating art" in this instance. Many of us are probably familiar with the scene in the seminal film Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The particular scene of importance is when the T-1000 (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) demonstrates he is a cyborg to his creator by unsheathing the "living human tissue" atop the metal endoskeleton, exposing the human-crushing power and roboticulation of the arm underneath.

Inspired by the T-1000, Dean Kamen is helping to bring about a New World Order of CYBORGS. Nerds everywhere rejoiced, and everywhere else, humans who realize the full potential of this development cowered in fear.

The parallels are undeniable. Whilst Mr. Kamen is certainly providing a useful bridge to post-humanity for those that wish to exploit it, he is simultaneously providing a downhill path to constructing our future robot masters and providing them with sophisticated people-smashing limbs, all the while pocketing the sweet, sweet profits for himself.

Thanks to Gizmodo and BoingBoing

1 comment:

grant said...


the T-1000 was the liquid metal terminator from Terminator 2. Not Arnold