On a very deep and meaningful level, I understand the importance of this development. But my knee jerk reaction to this sort of thing is generally, “holy hell the robot apocalypse is coming soon!” Anyways, “Surgeons from UC Davis Medical Center have demonstrated that artificial muscles can restore the ability of patients with facial paralysis to blink, a development that could benefit the thousands of people each year who no longer are able to close their eyelids due to combat-related injuries, stroke, nerve injury or facial surgery.”
The implications of this development are endless, but specifically in the eye, blinking maintains healthy eyes. The act wipes the surface of the eye clean and spreads tears across the cornea, lowering the risk of developing corneal ulcers that eventually cause blindness.
“This is the first-wave use of artificial muscle in any biological system,” said Travis Tollefson, a facial plastic surgeon in the UC Davis Department of Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery). “But there are many ideas and concepts where this technology may play a role.”
Like killing humans. [via]