Saluting Our Country’s Veterans: the Invention of Powered Prosthesis
November 12, 2012
There’s a keystone in every great invention
For thousands of years, artificial limbs have played a storied role in human history – and much of that role has been in relation to soldiers wounded on the battlefield. In fact, the very first recorded mention of an artificial limb in history comes from an ancient Indian epic, the Rig Veda, where a warrior gets their leg amputated in the middle of combat, receives an iron leg replacement, and heads back into the fray. How’s that for tough as nails?
It doesn’t need to be said that America has its share of soldiers who are as tough – even tougher – than those out of legend. The performance of American soldiers, marines, airmen, and Special Forces members on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan is a testament to the level of fine-tuned training, discipline, and astonishing bravery our country is capable of – if that’s what’s needed. But just as in ancient India, amputation is still a distinct, tragic possibility in modern-day combat. With the development of IEDs and suicide bombing vests, the number of American servicemen and servicewomen who’ve returned home without hands, feet, arms, and legs, is something that we all as a nation should be profoundly concerned about.
Thankfully, as we look to our military as being the keystone of our national defense, we also know that in introduction of powered prosthetics have become the keystone for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan making their way back into daily life as civilians. Fortunately, modern-day science has long-since surpassed the “iron legs” and “peg-legs” of yore when it comes to helping wounded warriors returning from battle. With the discovery and development of powered prostheses – a feat first achieved by researchers at M.I.T. in 1968 during the heart of the Vietnam War –soldiers can now go about their daily lives with greater freedom and seamlessness than ever before in history. If not for scientific geniuses like Norbert Weiner, Melvin Glimcher, Amar Bose, and Robert Mann, the prosthetic arm – a device that works using electronic sensors that detect muscle contractions and respond accordingly – would never have been brought to being.
At Keystone Electronics, we make the components such as machine screws, computer aided design, quick fit terminals, test points, and battery clips, contacts, and holders that let yesterday’s soldiers live productive, hopeful lives in the here and now. Not only do we make it our business –but we stake our personal reputation – on making the precision electronics that let those Americans who haven’t been able to escape from harm’s way to live their lives as freely and as normally as possible. Remember, when it comes to quality products, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
Keystone Electronics Corp. is proud to be a corporate partner of the Gary Sinise Foundation. To partner with a foundation that supports the future well-being of the men and women who have served in America’s armed forces is a privilege and an honor for our company.