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Robotic Arms Connected to Brain of Partially Paralyzed Man Allow Him to Feed Himself

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Sometimes referred to as a brain-computer interface, BMI systems provide a direct communication link between the brain and a computer, which decodes neural signals and ‘translates’ them to perform various external functions, from moving a curs


Johns Hopkins University researchers led a team that developed a robotic system comprised of a brain-machine interface (BMI) and a pair of modular prosthetic limbs that allowed a partially paralyzed man to feed himself.

The system uses muscle movement signals from the user's brain to control the robotic prosthetics.

The man, unable to use his fingers for about three decades, gestured with his fists in response to computerized voice prompts, enabling the robotic limbs to slice a piece of cake with a knife and to align a cake-laden fork with his mouth.

Said Johns Hopkins' Francesco Tenore, "This shared control approach is intended to leverage the intrinsic capabilities of the [BMI] and the robotic system, creating a 'best of both worlds' environment where the user can personalize the behavior of a smart prosthesis."

From Frontiers Science News
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