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Robotics Hardware Science

Paralyzed Woman Uses Mind-Controlled Robot Arm 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the my-right-arm-is-a-smasher-like-the-trunk-of-a-tree dept.
MrSeb writes "Using BrainGate, the world's most advanced brain-computer interface, a woman with quadriplegia has used a mind-controlled robot arm to serve herself coffee — an act she hasn't been able to perform for 15 years. BrainGate, which is being developed by a team of American neuroscientists from Brown and Stanford universities, and is currently undergoing clinical trial, requires a computer chip to be implanted in the motor cortex of the patient, which it then transmits to a computer for processing. Like all brain-computer interfaces, the user must train the software — but once this is done, you simply think of a movement, and the software moves the robot accordingly. Moving forward, the researchers would like to miniaturize the system and make it wireless — at the moment, BrainGate users have a box attached to their head, and they're tethered to a computer — which is OK for robot arm use at home, but obviously doesn't grant much mobility. The work was partly funded by DARPA, with the hope of creating more advanced prosthetics for wounded war veterans." This comes on the heels of a 71-year-old man regaining motor function in his fingers after doctors rewired his nerves to bypass the damaged ones.
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Paralyzed Woman Uses Mind-Controlled Robot Arm

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  • 20+ years ago... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @07:38PM (#40035561)
    20+ years ago, I saw an episode of a show "Beyond 2000". They had someone hooked up to electrodes of some sort, there was nothing implanted. She was controlling an avatar, in first person, in a 3D environment with her thoughts. I always thought if we could do that 20 years ago why, has it taken so long to see anything more. Even now, this really isn't any more impressive. If we could even control a mouse pointer and "click" with our mind it could be very useful. It wouldn't be much more to then be able to text with our minds, which then opens up a form of telepathy.

    I just wonder why this tech seems to have been stuck in its tracks for so long.

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