Wetware

https://www.reddit.com/r/MortalKombat/comments/f3q3zf/nrs_we_need_a_half_robot_face_terminator_skin_in/

In the Terminator movies, the robot played by Arnold Schwarzeneger looks like a human on the outside thanks to artificial flesh – i.e. skin and muscle. Well now the researchers at Freiburg University have made an all-protein muscle:

‘For the new study, researchers at the University of Freiburg created artificial muscles that are entirely β€œbio-based.” They’re made of elastin, a natural protein that gives tissues like skin and blood vessels their elasticity.’

https://newatlas.com/robotics/artificial-muscles-human-proteins/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c5257d2ee4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_02_01_11_50&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-c5257d2ee4-92416841

But wait…there’s more. The new, artificial muscle can respond to certain kinds of stimuli which means it can react to the outside world. This is huge, not just for robotics but for all sorts of prosthetics and implants.

And then there’s the development of artificial nerves.

‘Sensory nerves carry information from the outside world to our spinal cord and brain. In particular, our ability to perceive touch sensation is achieved by a type of sensory nerve ending called mechanoreceptors which are located in our skin. When pressure is applied to the skin, the mechanoreceptors respond by changing their electric voltage (i.e., a measure of electrical energy). The voltages from multiple mechanoreceptors are combined and transmitted to a single neuron, or nerve cell. At a certain voltage threshold, the neuron generates repetitive electrical pulses that are forwarded to other neurons via junctions called synapses, eventually reaching the neurons in the brain to register the touch sensation. The frequency at which the electric pulses are generated (measured in hertz, i.e., number per second) is determined by the applied pressure. Higher pressures produce electrical pulses at higher frequencies, while lower pressures produce lower frequency pulses (Figure 1). These electrical pulses are eventually transmitted to and processed by the brain to feel the pressure of the external stimulus, according to the pulse frequencies.’

https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/artificial-nerves/

If we could make artificial skin and muscle, and then give that skin artificial nerve endings, we could create robots capable of ‘feeling’.

‘Artificial sensory nerves are at a very early stage in their development… To mimic its biological counterpart, the artificial sensory nerve is constructed using three components: resistive pressure sensors, ring oscillators, and a synaptic transistor, corresponding to the biological mechanoreceptors, neurons, and synapses, respectively (Figure 2).’

https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/artificial-nerves/

Why am I so interested in these developments? Because there are all sorts of stories in the world of Innerscape, including that of Jaimie and Ari. Jaimie is on the ‘inside’. Ari is on the ‘outside’. They can never really be together unless Ari gets very sick and is inducted into Innerscape, not a fate either of them would wish for.

But what if Jaimie could somehow project himself outside? If he could invent a robot capable of ‘feeling’, he could ride the robot in the outside world but ‘feel’ what the robot feels via the Innerscape AI. It would be like the reverse of the gaming suits and biofluid that outsiders use to temporarily project themselves inside Innerscape.

I’ve been thinking about the possibilities for some time, but couldn’t see how I could make it happen, not without making it all up. Now I won’t have to. πŸ™‚

I know you guys aren’t really interested in my tech posts but…I don’t write them for you. I actually write them for myself so I can find important information months or even years after I originally discover it.

Thanks for putting up with my idiosyncrasies. πŸ˜‰

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

30 responses to “Wetware

  • marianallen

    I LOVE reading your tech posts! Keep ’em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  • CarolCooks2

    I also like your technical posts…from the medical side as some have already mentioned..I also like to know… just different things but I like to know …nerdy I call myself at times but I don’t care ..I just want to know πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      High Five my gastronomic friend! I keep a lookout for the medical ones too as there’s a lot of diabetes and asthma in the extended family. Even if breakthroughs are still years away, it’s good to know that people are working on making like easier for those with these conditions.

      Like

  • Widdershins

    Are too, interested in your tech posts! πŸ˜€ … ‘specially when you pose a problem and my wild-n-wacky brain finds a practically, perfectly, way-out solution. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  • Candy+Korman

    YES! All of this fits perfectly into the future landscape that YOU have created.

    Liked by 1 person

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Wow. This is so cool. I know that you think of it in terms of Innerscape, but I can’t help diving into what it means for living people. I have a 19-year-old heart transplant friend, who is hoping her new heart will make it to the next major breakthrough. For so many people, these medical technologies can’t happen soon enough. Fascinating, Andrea. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      OMG…19? I’m glad your young friend has had a transplant but it seems so unfair that he/she would have to. And yes, each medical breakthrough saves lives. I fear that artificial hearts are still a very long way off, but you’re right, the heart is a muscle and this artificial muscle could be made to beat. That is huge. Fingers crossed for your young friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach

        She had the transplant at 17! And hearts last about 10 years or so. Even a breakthrough in anti-rejection would be a miracle! So much is happening in the medical field… one way that technology is making the world a kinder place. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Poor kid. The thought of having to go through all that again so soon must be awful and yet, I’m old enough to remember the stunned disbelief when we heard about the very first heart transplant. Doesn’t seem that long ago.
          Speaking of technology, I can’t understand how so many people can poo poo the science when it’s the science that makes the tech possible, and much of it is life-saving. I wonder how many of us would be alive if we didn’t have all that modern, medical know-how behind us?

          Liked by 1 person

          • D. Wallace Peach

            Yup, another cognitive disconnect. I remember when my ex-mother-in-law told me that her brother died of an ear infection (pre-penicillin). It just shocked me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            -shiver- yes, that is the world that so many people feel nostalgia for. Not me. My Mum was raised by her grandmother because her mother died of tetanus. 😦 And my late ex-mother-in-law died of a massive asthma attack in her early 50’s. Tech can’t come fast enough as far as I’m concerned. :/

            Like

  • Ellen Buikema

    How exciting! Not only for your writing but for the many people who might benefit from these wonderful medical advances! Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Yes. I got so caught up in the fiction, I totally missed the real world implications. Talk about blinkered vision. 😦 Diana has a young friend who’s alive because of a heart transplant. These developments could mean so much to people like them. If the hearts could be made using material the body did not reject as ‘foreign’, transplant recipients could literally live complete, full lives.

      Like

  • Jacqui Murray

    I’m interested. I have a character in my thriller series–an AI in a pudgy robot form. I love the guy and ideas on how to wrap him into stories keep flitting through my head. I spent some time researching sending thoughts without voices. That is pretty interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      lol – a pudgy robot AI? That’s brilliant. I think you’ve just won me. πŸ™‚
      As for sending thoughts…I believe there’s already something that can translate basic brain impulses into a form a computer can ‘translate’. Damned if I can remember what or where I read it though. Grrr. Stupid brain.
      This is an idea you should definitely run with. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacqui Murray

        We might have read the same article.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Wouldn’t surprise me at all! I just started reading ‘To Hunt a Sub’ and I’m blown away by the tech. The story too, but I really appreciate the depth of research you must have done. πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jacqui Murray

            Twenty-four Days is even techier. I got to play out my imagination in those two. I have another I may run by you if you’re up for chatting about plot development. Since I’m lost in my prehistoric world right now, that could take a few years to get back to. Sadly.

            Oddly, my prehistoric fiction sells much much better than my tech thrillers. Sigh.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            I’d love to talk tech with you! And yes, I noticed the difference between the two types of story. I did read the first? book about Lucy and quite liked it but it wasn’t my ‘thing’ so I didn’t want my preferences to bias any review I wrote. Scifi and tech will always be my true loves. I guess there just aren’t that many techy geeks in this world. Solidarity, Sister. πŸ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jacqui Murray

            I read your Innerscape trilogy–loved it, reviewed it. What’s next? I am that tech geek reader who loves that sort of story, but you’re right. There aren’t that many. Though my two thrillers depend heavily on tech, I don’t promote them that way. More as military thrillers, or just thrillers.

            Hmm… Maybe if I did it would improve sales… Something to think about.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Give it a try, Jacqui. I stayed up way too late last night reading To Hunt A Sub. It’s a great story, and the tech is as much a ‘character’ in it as Otto and the humans.
            I thought my online friends were just humouring me about my tech posts, but they really surprised me. They may not be geeks but they’re super intelligent, curious people with a surprising range of interests. I suspect there’s a whole world of similar readers out there. We just have to find them. πŸ™‚

            Like

  • davidprosser

    YOU’RE ENTIRELY WRONG. WE ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR TECH POSTS. VERY OFTEN WE CAN SEE THE APPLICATION OF THESE IN THE REAL WORLD BUT I CAN CERTAINLY SEE HOW THEY COULD TRANSLATE INTO INNERSCAPE.IT’S VERY INTERESTING.
    HUGS

    Liked by 2 people

  • DawnGillDesigns

    I’m interested in them. They ae my favourite of your posts πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  • robertawrites235681907

    I like your technical posts, Meeks, and I think your idea about Jaimie feeling what the robot feels via the Innerscape AI is brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people

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