The Robot-Arm Prosthetic Controlled by Thought

Posted By on November 24, 2015
120202-N-AN650-001 Bethesda, Md. (Feb. 2, 2012) The Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) was developed as part of a four-year program by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, along with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The brain-controlled prosthetic has nearly as much dexterity as a natural limb, and allows independent movement of fingers.  The MPL was used by wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the first time Jan. 24, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Sarah Fortney/Released)


U.S. Navy photo by Sarah Fortney/Released

In The Robot-Arm Prosthetic Controlled by Thought we meet Johnny Matheny who is the first person to attach a mind-controlled prosthetic limb directly to his skeleton.

After losing his arm to cancer in 2008, Johnny signed up for a number of experimental surgeries to prepare himself to use a DARPA-funded prosthetic prototype. Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have developed the The Modular Prosthetic Limb which allows Johnny to regain almost complete range of motion through the Bluetooth-controlled arm.

The Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) was developed as part of a four-year program by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, along with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The brain-controlled prosthetic has nearly as much dexterity as a natural limb, and allows independent movement of fingers.

Johnny can control the arm using wireless Myo gesture control armbands.

Michael McLoughlin, Chief Engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, goes into more detail about the arm and talks a little about the challenges of building a modular prosthetic limb that has the same dexterity as a human hand, and its potential applications.

You can see a little more about the Myo armband here as well.

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Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

 


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