(Image source: PopSci)

 

BY MATTHEW PICHT


ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


Cathy Hutchison picked up a thermos of coffee,  took a sip and the room erupted into applause. For the first time in fifteen years, the paralyzed Hutchison was able to accomplish simple motor tasks with her mind, and a little robotic assistance.

“Cathy had a tiny array of electrodes implanted into her brain, five years ago...Now, for the first time, Cathy has used the same implants to control a robot arm.”

Ever since a severe stroke in 1996 left her paralyzed, Cathy has been confined to a wheelchair, unable to manage even the simplest tasks by herself. Now, a new method of computer-brain interaction allows Cathy to bypass her damaged nervous system and control a robotic prosthetic with her mind.

“The experiments are part of a continuing clinical trial of a "neural interface" system known as BrainGate... The system detects electrical signals in the brain and uses them to control an external device—in this case, a robotic arm.”

Cathy’s sip of coffee is both a triumph for neurology and a personal milestone. In an interview with the BBC, Professor John Donoghue was visibly elated at the success of the experiment.

“There was a moment of true joy, true happiness. I mean, it was beyond the fact that it was an accomplishment.”

The project lead, Professor Leigh Hochberg, hopes this test will lead to further advancement. Eventually, he says, neural implants could cut out the mechanical middleman entirely.

“Hochberg said his dream, still many years away on the horizon, is not only for paralyzed people to use BrainGate to control devices, but to reroute neural signals back into their limbs, allowing them to again control their bodies.”

Interestingly, though there are approximately 100 billion neurons in the average human brain, the scientists found they only needed the signals from a few dozens neurons in order to control the robotic arm.
 

Mind-Controlled Robot Gives Paralyzed Woman A Hand

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Sources:ITVBBC
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May 17, 2012

Mind-Controlled Robot Gives Paralyzed Woman A Hand

(Image source: PopSci)

 

BY MATTHEW PICHT


ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


Cathy Hutchison picked up a thermos of coffee,  took a sip and the room erupted into applause. For the first time in fifteen years, the paralyzed Hutchison was able to accomplish simple motor tasks with her mind, and a little robotic assistance.

“Cathy had a tiny array of electrodes implanted into her brain, five years ago...Now, for the first time, Cathy has used the same implants to control a robot arm.”

Ever since a severe stroke in 1996 left her paralyzed, Cathy has been confined to a wheelchair, unable to manage even the simplest tasks by herself. Now, a new method of computer-brain interaction allows Cathy to bypass her damaged nervous system and control a robotic prosthetic with her mind.

“The experiments are part of a continuing clinical trial of a "neural interface" system known as BrainGate... The system detects electrical signals in the brain and uses them to control an external device—in this case, a robotic arm.”

Cathy’s sip of coffee is both a triumph for neurology and a personal milestone. In an interview with the BBC, Professor John Donoghue was visibly elated at the success of the experiment.

“There was a moment of true joy, true happiness. I mean, it was beyond the fact that it was an accomplishment.”

The project lead, Professor Leigh Hochberg, hopes this test will lead to further advancement. Eventually, he says, neural implants could cut out the mechanical middleman entirely.

“Hochberg said his dream, still many years away on the horizon, is not only for paralyzed people to use BrainGate to control devices, but to reroute neural signals back into their limbs, allowing them to again control their bodies.”

Interestingly, though there are approximately 100 billion neurons in the average human brain, the scientists found they only needed the signals from a few dozens neurons in order to control the robotic arm.
 

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