FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thought-Controlled "Bionic Arms"

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have developed prosthetic arms that are controlled by electrical signals from the brain. The artificial limbs recreate the subtle motions of actual arms, and allows for a greater level of control than traditional prostheses.

Whereas a human arm is capable of 22 discrete movements, this new generation of artificial arms is capable of four -- rotating the upper arm, bending the elbow, rotate the wrist and closing of the hand.

Jesse Sullivan, who lost both arms in an electrical utility accident, and Claudia Mitchell, who lost her left arm in a motorcycle crash, are using these artificial arms to perform everyday tasks. DARPA expects to be able to offer these arms to wounded veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: CNN.com