Research represents big step toward development of brain-controlled artificial limbs for people
Reaching for something you want seems a simple enough task, but not for someone with a prosthetic arm, in whom the brain has no control over such fluid, purposeful movements. Yet according to research presented at the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, scientists have made significant strides to create a permanent artificial device that can restore deliberate mobility to patients with paralyzing injuries. The concept is that, through thought alone, a person could direct a robotic arm – a neural prosthesis – to reach and manipulate a desired object.
As a step toward that goal, University of Pittsburgh researchers report that a monkey outfitted with a child-sized robotic arm controlled directly by its own brain signals is able to feed itself chunks of fruits and vegetables. The researchers trained the monkey to feed itself by using signals from its brain that are passed through tiny electrodes, thinner than a human hair, and fed into a specially designed algorithm that tells the arm how to move. "The beneficiaries of such technology will be patients with spinal cord injuries or nervous system disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS," said Andrew Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and senior researcher on the project.
Lisa Rossi | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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