That is, the innovation in the development of prosthetics is aimed at giving the amputee more control and feel over the device which makes him feel that it is as good as a natural body part. The whole evolution of prosthetics over the centuries is driven by the desire for improving the artificial devices’ anthropomorphism (Pitkin, 2009). Anthropomorphism can be best defined as the expressing of human motivations and feelings in non-human entities (Clark, 2011). In this case, it is to allow the prosthetic to serve as an equivalent to the natural body part doing all activities and functions that could have been performed with the natural body part. This report looks into the innovation in the field of prosthetics. It discusses the evolution of prosthetics over the centuries. The expected future developments in the field are also discussed along with initiatives taken to increase the awareness among people. Evolution of Prosthetics Prosthetics has evolved from its primitive form to today’s highly sophisticated form over the centuries. There have been numerous ideas and innovations that have been introduced in the field of prosthetics. Some of them have been very successful and they have been expanded new forms and design. Fixed-position foot is an example of a successful innovation. On the other hand, some of them have not worked out as anticipated and have been sidelined. The use of iron in prosthetics is an example of a poor innovation that did not work out. The very first prosthetics were the peg legs and hand hooks that were designed in and around 400 BC. These prosthetics have evolved over the years and lead to more advanced and sophisticated fittings and castings. Today’s prosthetics are highly individualised to meet the specific needs of the person (Norton, 2007). The earliest of prosthetics rather than function mainly served the purpose of wholeness. They were made fibres. The next step in the innovation of prosthetics was the use iron and bronze. The core of the prosthetics consisted of wooden and the exterior was made of bronze and iron. Slowly the dimension of purpose was introduced (Norton, 2007). The purpose was still trivial such as to enable the amputee to walk, hold shields in the battle, etc. The prosthetics served only one purpose and was not very effective and there was very little attention paid to function. Prosthetics were used mainly in battles for soldiers and only the rich and famous in the society could use hand hooks and peg legs for daily functions. The next step in the evolution was the better designs and the use of gears and springs. The designing was boosted by the contribution from people of various trades. Watchmakers played an important role in the introduction of gears and springs in the prosthetics. This gave a new dimension to prosthetics as they were added with specific intricate internal functions. The period of renaissance saw a rebirth of innovation in prosthetics. The mew materials such as copper, steel, iron along with wood were used in the making of prosthetics (Norton, 2007). Prosthetics were now designed with the intent to make it more easy and multifunctional. People now started using prosthetics to perform activities such as signing the name, opening the purse, removing the purse, etc. Engineering features started to become a integral of prosthetics. Engineering features that made into the design of prosthetics were fixed positions, harness that could be adjusted, mechanisms that could control knee lock, etc.
The Innovation of Prosthetics