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Paralyzed woman uses thought-controlled robotic arm to drink coffee 

The Force is strong at Braingate. The woman and a 66 year-old man, identified only as S3 and T2, respectively. Both of them had lost the use of their limbs years ago, due to brainstem strokes. They manipulated two different robotic arms, designed by the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, and DEKA Research and Development Corp.

When the participants thought of their arm performing a certain action, neurons adjacent to the array fired accordingly. Due to the subjects’ paralysis, this did not result in the movement of their arm, which it would do in a non-handicapped person. The electrical activity of the neurons was, however, picked up by the electrodes. This data was fed (via the cable) to a linked external computer, which translated the activity into instructions for the robotic arm.

Over the course of four days, the woman and man used this setup in a series of exercises. Some of these involved trying to grab foam targets, within 30 seconds of their popping up in different locations. When using the DEKA arm and hand, which has a wider grasp, the woman was successful 66.7 percent of the time, while the man managed a figure of 62.2 percent. Both subjects experienced much higher success rates when it came to simply touching the targets.

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Added: May-18-2012 Occurred On: May-18-2012
By: scarfilm
In:
Science and Technology
Tags: braingate, paralyzed, robotics, brown university
Location: Rhode Island, United States (load item map)
Marked as: featured
Views: 13554 | Comments: 117 | Votes: 8 | Favorites: 7 | Shared: 369 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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