¨Turning thought into action¨
The Robotic arm moves a thermos filled with coffee towards Cathy Hutchinson’s mouth while she imagines carrying out this same motion with the very hand she has been unable to move for the past fifteen years.
Amazingly, this is what Brain-Machine Interface technology can do. This special communication system translates specific activity in the brain into commands for devices such as computers and robots, allowing a person to perform actions without using muscles and peripheral nerves.
While clinical trials with the first version of the BrainGate system began several years ago, these merely had patients control the placement of a cursor on a screen. Displayed in the video above, researchers from Brown University, The Massachusetts General Hospital and The Stanford School of Medicine have now proven that people who have become paralysed due to stroke or spinal injury are also capable of grasping and moving objects with the BrainGate2 system.
The BrainGate team is focused on developing technologies to restore the communication, mobility, and independence of people with neurologic disease, injury, or limb loss. The diverse team that brings together scientists, engineers and physicians will continue to work closely together to create the ultimate device that will work effectively and reliably for the broadest range of patients.
The paper describing these finding was published in last week’s Nature. Access it HERE.