Woman Controls Artificial Arm Through Brain

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A woman controls her artificial arm through her brain.

A paralyzed woman is able to control a robotic arm with her brain.

Scientists implanted electrodes into the part of the 52 year old woman’s brain that controls arm movement.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found that the woman is making quick progress, being able to move the arm within days of recovering from surgery, but also that as time goes on, she has reached a plateau in movement ability due to scar tissue forming around where the electrodes were placed.
This is one of several projects that are working towards improving the development of robotic body parts that can be controlled by brain activity.

One of the authors of the study that created the robotic arm, Professor Andrew Schwartz said that the scientists have taken a different route than other similar projects “by using model-based computer algorithm which closely mimics the way that an unimpaired brain controls limb movement. The result is a prosthetic hand which can be moved far more accurately and naturalistically than previous efforts.”

Schwartz also said that making the computer electrodes smaller so that they don’t initiate the scarring process might solve the problem of scar tissue impeding on the functionality of the arm.

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