Amputee gets a gesture controlled robotic prosthetic arm
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University have used the awesome muscle sensing Myo armband to control a robotic prosthetic arm – turning the prosthetic arm into a gesture controlled arm that works without electronics. Using the prosthetic arm and the Myo armband, patients can control the arm as they think. A pair of Myo armbands is used on the upper arm, which detects electric impulses in the arm muscles to wirelessly transmit them to a computer nearby. The computer understands these movements and commands the connected prosthetic arm to execute the task. Watch Myo controlled prosthetic arm in action below.
Johnny Matheny who lost his arm to cancer in the year 2008 is probably the first amputee to be fitted with a prosthetic arm connected directly to the bone in the upper arm. Using the robotic prosthetic arm, Matheny can use fingers to lift objects. He is practicing more with the arm and should be able to improve controls down the line.
Elated Matheny says,
The APL arm is the most unique arm I’ve ever worn. It has the ability to do anything that your natural hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder can do.
Albeit, the prosthetic arm needs to be in close proximity of a computer to allow it to respond to electric impulses transmitted by the Myo; the demonstration has a potential for use in low-cost consumer devices and prosthetics of the future.