Mind-Controlled Limbs For Amputees (+VIDEO)
Max Ortiz Catalan, a student at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, is now designing the world’s first implantable robotic arm controlled by thoughts within the frameworks of the OPRA Implant System project. The electrodes will be implanted directly on the nerves and remaining muscles instead: the electrodes are located closer to the source, the body serves as protection, and as a result the bio-electric signals become much more stable. Due to this new method of implanting Catalan hopes to recreate the same level of control over a biological limb, via their own nerves and muscles. The electrical impulses from the nerves in the arm stump are captured by a neural interface, which sends them to the prostheses through the implant; these are then decoded by sophisticated algorithms that allow the patient to control the prosthesis using his or her own thoughts. Researchers hope to conduct surgical trials to show that the technology works and then get more grants to continue clinical studies and develop the technology.