robotic arm Scientists develop mind controlled robotic arm

Scientists have developed a robotic arm that can be fully controlled by the mind, with research showing promising results for a woman paralysed from the neck down.

Scientists have developed a robotic arm that can be fully controlled by the mind, with research showing promising results for a woman paralysed from the neck down.

 
53-year-old Jan Scheuermann, who suffers from spinocerebellar degeneration, was fitted with  implants in the motor cortex of her brain that transmit signals to a robotic arm, in a manner similar to how our brains send signals to our biological limbs.
 
The implants, measuring just four millimetres by four millimetres, pick up electrical activity from roughly 200 brain cells, thanks to hundreds of microscopic needles. The result is that Scheuermann can now control the robotic arm, which took only two days of training to start with. She became progressively more skilful as the weeks went by.
 
robotic arm Scientists develop mind controlled robotic arm
 
While similar technology has been developed in the past, it has never produced such effective results, according to Professor Andrew Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh. He believes this could be extremely beneficial to people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries.
 
The real test, however, will be in getting the technology out of the laboratory and into a working environment. The scientists are now attempting to mount the robotic arm on Scheuermann's wheelchair, and they are even trying to develop a virtual sense of touch.
 
The findings were shared in medical journal The Lancet.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: Reuters