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August 13th, 2013

Advanced Prosthetics Help Patients Move Robotic Arm Through Mind Control

Most of the exciting developments in prosthetics technology recently involve prosthetic limbs that are controlled through a brain-machine interface using computer technology. In such cases, the person is able to move his robotic arm, using inputs from his own brain.

The technology, which would have seemed futuristic just a few years ago, has now become increasingly commonplace, and there are many advancements being made which seem to indicate that in the future individuals with spinal cord injury or those who have suffered limb amputations in accidents could make use of such robotic arms to facilitate movement.

A group of neurological surgeons recently published the results of experiments conducted on a patient, who has no use of both upper and lower limbs as the result of a spinal disease. They announced the development at a neurological conference.

In this technique, the surgeons implanted electrodes into the person’s brain with the terminals of the electrodes protruding out of the skull. Connecting these terminals to computers, the researchers were able to monitor the changes in the person’s brain, when she thought about moving her arms.

The brain signals helped the person to move the robotic arm, and over a period of time, and with some practice, the woman was actually able to perform not only simple movements, but also rotate her wrist, grasp objects, move objects and perform other slightly more complicated tasks using her hands.

In this technique, the person controls the robotic arm using his or her mind. The surgeons believe that a mind-controlled robotic arm like this is useful not just for persons who suffer paralysis as a result of spinal disease or spinal cord injury, but also those who have suffered an arm amputation as a result of a workplace accident, or an auto or trucking accident.

The Texas catastrophic injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent persons who have suffered brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries across Texas.

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