Robotic Arm Controlled by Thoughts Treats Paralyzed Woman

Robotic Arm Controlled by Thoughts Treats Paralyzed WomanA new robotic arm has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the success of the same has been ensured after a paralyzed woman was able to control the same by her thoughts.

It is the belief of the team that the robotic arm is the first one ever, which matches a real human limb. Published in the Lancet medical journal, the trial has enabled the 53-year-old Jan paralyzed from the neck down to move, pick up and place objects just like a normal arm helps one.

The robotic arm was controlled with the help of brain implants. It was 13 years back when Jan had been detected as having spinocerebellar degeneration. She had lost movement in any body part down her neck, but now her ability to move her legs or arms has shown a major breakthrough in the way of prosthetics.

Two sensors of four millimetres by four millimetres were inserted into her brain's motor cortex. It was found that the tiny needles, hundreds, on sensors picked up the electrical activity from individual brain cells. The same were then converted into commands and helped move the arm.

"They're fluid and they're way better, I don't know how to say it any other way, they're way better than anything that's been demonstrated before", Prof. Andrew Schwartz said.