Oct 15, 2016 05:55 AM EDT

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Enables Disabled People

By Paula
Scientists from UPMC created a mind-controlled robotic arm that helps disabled people feel.
(Photo : Wikimedia)

A mind-controlled robotic arm can help disabled regain their sensation in their arms and fingers, reports claim. 

Science Daily reported that Nathan Copeland, 28 years old disabled man has manage to regain sensation of touch after he was connected to the Brain Computer Interface (BCI).The BCI was developed by scientists from the University of Pittsburg.

Copeland managed to have the sense of touch with the help of robotic arm controlled by his brain, they reported. He explained that after a month, he can feel weird sensations in on his fingers. He said that he was able to explain pressure and can sense all his fingers with precision.Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, one of the researchers, explained that even though he can feel pressure intensities Copeland can't define the difference between hot and cold substance.

Researcher Andrew Schwartz likewise claimed that the study showed that microstimulation of the sensory cortex can create sensation. He also explained that the effects of the study are safe and stable.Schwarts pointed out that for patients to move better there's still a need to understand simulation patterns.

UPMC explained that the way our body naturally moves doesn't only depend on what we think. They said that it's important for us to be able to differentiate the things we're holding.

There should be able to get constant feedback from our sense of touch, the researchers explained.Researcher Michael Boninger explained that this is not the first time their team achieved a great milestone. He explained that four years ago they were able to demonstrate movement control.

Rob Gaunt, one of the researchers, stressed that they've developed the system before they looked for the right candidate.He added that they want to use the brain's existing ability to give back the sensation they've lost. He explained that their end goal is the creation of a system that allows arms to move naturally.


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