Scientists may be on track to develop prosthetics for people suffering from paralysis and Parkinson’s disease after monkeys were made to operate a bionic arm by thought alone.
In experiments described as a ‘quantum leap’ in the search for realistic prosthetic limbs, researchers from the American University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine made Monkeys move a robotic arm to feed themselves while their own arms were restrained.
Monkey successfully fed itself with fluid with well-controlled movements of a human-like robotic arm by using only signals from its brain.
The study reported in the Nature suggested that this significant advance could benefit development of prosthetics for people with spinal cord injuries and those with "locked-in" conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. "Our immediate goal is to make a prosthetic device for people with total paralysis," said Andrew Schwartz, senior author and professor of Neurobiology at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Courtsey AIR