Robotic Arm

brain connection pic

Human Prosthetics Robotic Arm December 2012 Mind-Controlled Robot Arm John Hopkins University Medical Center DERPA

Pittsburg, USA

Zoka Zola Studio Matt Whitham

In a decade of war, more than 1,300 Americans have lost limbs on the battlefield. And that fact led the Department of Defense to start a crash program to help veterans and civilians by creating an artificial arm and hand that are ama- zingly human. But that‘s not the breakthrough. We don‘t use that word very often because it‘s overused. But when you see how they have connected this robotic limb to a human brain, you‘ll understand why we made an exception. For Jan Scheuermann and a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medici- ne and UPMC, accomplishing these seemingly ordinary tasks demonstrated for the first time that a per- son with longstanding quadriplegia can maneuver a mind-controlled, human-like robot arm in seven di- mensions (7D) to consistently perform many of the natural and complex motions of everyday life. In a study published in the online version of The Lancet, the researchers described the brain-com- puter interface (BCI) technology and training programs that allowed Ms. Scheuermann, 53, to in- tentionally move an arm, turn and bend a wrist, and close a hand for the first time in nine years. Less than a year after she told the research team, “I’m going to feed myself chocolate before this is over,” Ms. Scheuer- mann savored its taste and announced as they applauded her feat, “One small nibble for a woman, one giant bite for BCI.” “This is a spectacular leap toward greater function and independence for people who are unable to move their own arms,” agreed senior investigator Andrew B. Schwartz, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neu- robiology, Pitt School of Medicine. “This technology, which interprets brain signals to guide a ro- bot arm, has enormous potential that we are continuing to explore. Our study has shown us that it is tech- nically feasible to restore ability; the participants have told us that BCI gives them hope for the future.”.

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