With the increased integration of technology and the human body, people are living longer and active lives. Medical devices have already changed many lives both young and old. Will technology redefine relationships, has it already?
Technology can help physically disabled people regain function of their limbs. With further advances in prostheses, people will be able to achieve a higher potential than those with natural extremities. These new augmented abilities may spur able-bodied people to get these prostheses themselves.
The advances in technology allow people to achieve new heights and unlock unprecedented potential. The integration of the body with technology will also further increase the gap between the wealthy and the less fortunate. The future will hold many questions pertaining to the advantages of using technology to improve human performance.
The subject of comparing an augmented body to a normal human body has already been a topic of issue. Oscar Pistorius, an Olympian runner, was subjected to this controversy. Some people saw his cheetah legs as an advantage over his able bodied competitors. This proves that a future with technology giving people unfair advantages is imminent.
As a biomedical engineer, I find that connecting the body directly to technology to be inspiring and a definite positive. Living in a society where a physically disabled person can compete on an Olympian level is astounding. Currently technology can return a normal life to these people, but in the future, with further improvements, it can give them new capabilities.
If new developments lead to a higher potential, normal able bodied people will start to harness the technology to gain an advantage. In the movie, i, Robot, Will Smith’s character has a neural prosthetic arm. His arm gives him much more strength than any other human. He is able to protect himself and fight off the stronger robot with his own robotic arm.
This technology would change the world of sports. Oscar Pistorius was able to run because his legs were deemed that they did not give him an advantage. If he had modifications that made his legs better, then would he still be able to run? Where is the line drawn?
The final result will be a series of renders showing an augmented body and a natural body competing in sports.
Hannibal was a great war strategist that famously used elephants to travel across long distances. However, when he reached the Alps, he lost many of his troops and elephants. The designed vehicle wishes to aid Hannibal’s conquests and safely guide him across the Alps. The Alps is a very mountainous region. Its climate is very cold and snowy. This requires a vehicle that can traverse across this rough terrain while carrying Hannibal’s supply of equipment. The proposed vehicle, Cirrus (named after his elephant) was inspired from three different existing vehicles. The legs were derived from the walking machine from Star Wars. The body of it came from an aircraft carrier while the head was inspired by an elephant. The vehicle from Star Wars and elephants can be very intimidating and prolific. This matches Hannibal’s qualities. His presence was one to be feared and respected. An aircraft carrier was chosen because of its ability to transport large equipment and supplies. Hannibal would prefer to have people know when he is near. Since he is very powerful, he should live in luxury and his vehicle should accommodate his desires. His aversions are towards the cold and losing. This vehicle protects him from the cold with its large shell. Hannibal also has the option of sitting in bed while directing their course of action. The vehicle also possesses a large capacity for his army and his weapons. The vehicle has many features within its interior. On the top deck of the control tower, there is a bar that Hannibal can use to celebrate his victories and relax. It features an all glass exterior so he can see all of his accomplishments. The next floor down is where he could lead his command. The podium has a wide screen that allows him to control the vehicle while directing his soldiers into battle. The many screens are for his soldiers to monitor the situation around this large vehicle and help control it. Beneath this room is the throne room. Hannibal can sit and watch his plan unveil itself and destroy his competitors. The gold and velvet material portrays the royalty he deserves. The last room in the tower is where all of the electronics are contained. The servers and technology needed to operate the vehicle is housed here. In order to travel between rooms, an elevator was installed. Within the body of the elephant, Hannibal’s land vehicles are stored and maintained. A catwalk connects the elevator to the head of the elephant. A spiral staircase is used to walk down to the storage level. Hannibal’s personal bedroom lies within the head. The bed matches his throne and will excellently provide comfort to him. Cirrus can travel through the Alps because its ability to fly and walk.