17 December 2014

Brain Controlled Robotic Arm

A paralysed woman who controlled a robotic arm using just her thoughts has taken another step towards restoring her natural movements by controlling the arm with a range of complex hand movements. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have gone from giving ‘high fives’ to the ‘thumbs-up’ after increasing the manoeuvrability of the robotic arm from seven dimensions (7D) to 10 dimensions (10D).

The extra dimensions come from four hand movements—finger abduction, a scoop, thumb extension and a pinch—and have enabled Jan to pick up, grasp and move a range of objects much more precisely than with the previous 7D control. Computer algorithms were used to decode these firing signals and identify the patterns associated with a particular arm movement, such as raising the arm or turning the wrist.

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