Friday, July 16, 2010

Darpa’s Mind-Controlled Artificial Arm.



We are one step closer in having the body of Darth Vader...
It's a giant step that'll transform the devices, which were little more than hooks and cables only 50 years ago. And the progress is courtesy of Darpa, the Pentagon's far-out R&D agency, who've been sponsoring brain-controlled replacement limbs as part of their Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program. The prosthetic will rely on micro-arrays, implanted into the brain, that record signals and transmit them to the device.
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins, who've been behind much of Darpa's prosthetic progress thus far, have received a $34.5 million contract from the agency to manage the next stages of the project. Researchers will test the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) on a human. The test subject's thoughts will control the arm, which "offers 22 degrees of motion, including independent movement of each finger," provides feedback that essentially restores a sense of touch, and weighs around nine pounds. That's about the same weight as a human arm.
This is great news for amputated soldiers who are looking for an artificial limb that is as close as the real thing...


via gizmodo

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