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Make way for the robo-Olympics

Imagine a microchip that could be implanted in the brain or elsewhere in the human body that could detect the slightest angle and obstacle in the physical environment, adjusting every nano-move for maximum speed and efficiency along the way.


As technology advances in competitive sports, as we have seen in in this year's Winter Olympics, it's not difficult to envision a day when such precise instrumentation could become a reality. Researchers are even working on software that can help predict what kind of sport a youth would be best at, even before he or she has ever tried it out.

All of which begs the question: How far can technology go before it is deemed unfair competition, especially in such politically charged events as the Olympics?

Blog community response:

"In Map of Bones, the protagonist is protected in a key fight scene by a liquid armour that hardens instantly upon a bullet's impact. It sounded very far fetched when I read it. As it turns out, the technology may not be as far fetched it sounds."

"Using d3o has enabled skiers to forgo constricting forearm and shin padding while still protecting themselves. The US and Canadian ski teams are currently using these suits at the Olympics in Turino. I can see this same idea being carried into other sports; maybe soccer shinguards."
--The Homesteaders

"It's interesting to see emerging technologies at work in the winter sports. Austenitic steel is one example. Its high ductility and high tensile strength makes it an ideal element for the metal runners on the luge where riders reach 90 miles per hour and the timing of the race goes out to the thousandth of a second."
--Emerging Technologies for Virtual Instrumentation