Thursday, May 17, 2012

With just her thought a paralyzed woman moves robotic arm

From: Rosanne R.
Sent: May 17, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: With just her thought a paralyzed woman moves robotic arm
By implanting a 96-electrode sensor the size of a baby aspirin onto the surface of their brains, researchers have enabled two quadriplegic participants to use their thoughts alone to perform tasks with two types of robotic arms.
The BrainGate implant -- and the resulting Jedi mind tricks -- may be sort of anxiety-producing to some. But the smile on the face of the woman who hadn't been able to serve herself coffee in 15 years put a fine point on the progress the technology is affording.

"One of our participants was able to do something that, when all of us saw it for the first time, gave us all pause," lead author Dr. Leigh Hochberg, a neuroengineer and critical care neurologist who holds appointments at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Brown University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard, said in a Brown news video.

"She reached out with the robotic arm, she thought about the use of her own hand, she picked up that thermos of coffee, brought it close to her, tilted it toward herself, and sipped coffee from a straw. And that was the first time in nearly 15 years that she had picked up anything and been able to drink from it solely of her own volition."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Rosanne for sending this in. This is a very encouraging story. It seems that science is getting closer by the day to healing those paralyzed and giving them their independence back. Good story thanks.


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