Man Moves His Paralyzed Hand Using Thoughts

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Ian Burkhart, who has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident in 2010, recently moved his hand using his thoughts and some new technology.


“Picking up a cup of water and drinking it or brushing your teeth or feeding yourself, you know those things, if you can do those on your own, it makes a big difference in your life.” [Via The Ohio State University]

“A young man who is quadriplegic is clearing a major milestone in his quest to live a normal life once again.” [Via CBS]

Ian Burkhart, who has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident in 2010, recently moved his hand using his thoughts and some new technology.

His journey to this milestone began two and a half months ago.

He was chosen to participate in an experimental procedure being performed by surgeons from Ohio State University.

It involved the implantation of a microchip created by engineers from the not-for-profit research organization Battelle.

The chip is connected to a port housed in Burkhart’s skull. Cables run between it and a computer.

It’s the task of the software to decode the impulses being sent by the brain. They are then transferred to an electrode-filled sleeve that the man wears on his forearm.

When the messages hit the sleeve, they trigger movement in the hand.

Among the concerns of the doctors and scientists involved was that the messages sent by Burkhart’s brain wouldn’t be clear enough for the computer to translate and forward.

Their worries subsided when they watched Burkhart open and close his hand using the device and the network.

All involved have expressed their excitement for the future advancements and uses of the technology.

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