Meet the man with two mind-controlled arms
Each and every day, there are new advancements in medicine that are equally live-changing and mind-blowing. One such case is a mind-controlled artificial arm that allows its wearer to control their arms and fingers individually.
A mind-controlled arm sounds like something straight out of a science fiction film. For researchers, physicians, and biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins University, however, this is a reality that has the power to change lives.
Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory helped Les Baugh, a man from Colorado who lost both of his arms in an electrical accident, regain his ability to feel what it is like to control his arms and fingers.
With the help of the University’s research and advanced prosthetics technology, Baugh can control two robotics limbs by simply thinking about them.
The technology works via advanced brain mapping technology. Prior to wearing and operating the prosthetic arms, Baugh had to undergo a surgery called targeted muscle innervation.
This surgery essentially reassigns the nerves that, at one point in time, controlled the arm and the hand. By reassigning these nerves to the prosthetic contraption, he is able to move the new mechanized arms and fingers by thinking.
This technology is still in development and likely being improved by the day; however, the researchers noted that Baugh was able to quickly adapt to the contraption.
An organization called the Amputee Coalition notes that in the U.S. alone, over 100,000 people have amputated hands or arms. The implications of this technology are immense, and countless individuals with amputated limbs can benefit from it enormously.
As this technology continues to develop, we can expect it to become more accessible; however, we don’t expect this highly advanced technology to appear on the market at any time in the near future.