Woman Gains Full Mind Control Of Robotic Arm, Can Manipulate Almost As Precise As A Real Arm

December 17, 2012


Seen here going straight for a chocolate bar, 52-year old quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann demonstrates the robotic arm she controls ENTIRELY WITH HER BRAIN. Impressive work, but can you do THIS? *concentrates really hard, pen begins to levitate* "I can see the fishing line, GW." Dammit Jan, you've ruined me!

To achieve this, Schwartz's team implanted two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes in Jan's motor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for controlling the movement of our limbs. The results, according to the scientists, were uncanny. They were surprised by how fast Jan took control of the robotic arm.

[Per neurobiologist Andrew Schwartz] "I think it really is convincing evidence that this technology is going to be therapeutic for spinal cord injured people. They are doing tasks already that would be beneficial in their daily lives and I think that's fairly conclusive at this point."

Listen: I'm all for it. Aaaaand that's the last pro-robotics sentiment I'm going to express all week, okay? But enough about me getting weak in my old age, I just hope one day I'll be able to control my right arm decent enough to drink with it. *tries raising mug to lips, smashes on floor instead* That's it, I've had about enough out of you! *laying on arm to make it go numb while it tries to give me a wedgie* Haha, I'm not wearing underwear today you stupid arm! HIYO -- pinky in butt, PINKY IN BUTT.

Hit the jump for a video demo of the accuracy.

Thanks to Kendall, who's managed to train her mind to control the microwave. Not bad! (One Hot Pocket, please)

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