Athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics had prosthetics perfectly designed to help them run, jump, or swim as the events required. Now the technology behind those prosthetics is coming to everyday people who need it—and, possibly, to people who don’t. Augmenting able bodies for super-human functions: What could go wrong?
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Kira Bindrim is the host of the Quartz Obsession podcast. She is an executive editor who works on global newsroom coverage and email products. She is obsessed with reading and reality TV.
Samanth Subramanian is a senior reporter at Quartz covering the future of capitalism. He is obsessed with submarine cables, PG Wodehouse, and King Lear adaptations.
Ancient Egyptian prosthetic, a big toe made of wood and leather (1069 to 664 BC)
2016 brain implant that allowed a paralyzed man to move a robotic arm with his mind
Fake eye prosthesis made of bitumen paste (2900 to 2800 BC)
Herodatus book 9 chapter 37, Persian soldier Hegesistratus cuts off his foot and replaces it with a wooden one.
Roman general Marcus Sergius had his right hand cut off in battle
Ear trumpets(17th century)
Flex-Foot, Van Phillips’ cheetah-inspired prosthetic foot
“The extended mind” by Andy Clark and David Chalmers, 1998