At Johns Hopkins researchers have managed to allow a person to control the individual fingers of a prosthetic arm via thought alone. The technology was trialed in a epileptic patient who was already about to undergo a brain mapping procedure to identify the source of his seizures. The Hopkins team offered the patient the opportunity to use the same electrocorticography array he would have implanted to try to control an advanced robotic arm that has individually controlled fingers.
The team initially mapped what the electrode array was capturing to the movement of each finger in the patient and then had him think of different finger movements as though they were real. The fingers of the robotic device moved as was hoped for, flexing one at a time as requested of the patient.
Here’s video of the volunteer patient the fingers of the nearby robotic arm:
Study in Journal of Neural Engineering: Individual finger control of a modular prosthetic limb using high-density electrocorticography in a human subject…
(Via: Johns Hopkins)