In a world’s first, a double-amputee, with arms missing at shoulder level, received two prostheses, each of which he is able to control intuitively with his mind and manipulate different joints to control a total of 30 degrees of motion.
The system installed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory relies on surgically connecting electrodes to existing nerves that used to lead to the different part of the arm and hand. These are then connected to a computer that interprets the signals into motion control commands for the prosthetic arms. The amputee still requires to select which components of the arm he’d like to manipulate, but the motion thereafter is supposedly quite natural. The prostheses are not for taking home quite yet, but are currently still in the development stage, yet we’re clearly close to the age when losing an arm isn’t such a harrowing diagnosis.
Here’s a video showing the new system, including how the brace was fitted and the prostheses installed:
Press release: Amputee Makes History with APL’s Modular Prosthetic Limb…