Brain-controlled prosthetic hand with individual finger movement
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory physicians and biomedical engineers have developed a modular prosthetic limb which can be controlled with mind. Not only the hand but fingers can also be mind-controlled by the user. This brain-machine interface controls the real-time moment of individual prosthetic fingers. Using high-density electrocorticography (ECoG) array, the brain response is recorded and translated into the motor movement of fingers. The prosthetic has been developed for people who have lost their arms to disease or injury.
The current prototype version of this prosthetic arm is being currently tested on a healthy man who is not suffering from any such problem. To make the prosthetic work successfully, this device uses brain-mapping procedure to bypass control of the own arm. However, the man suffering from epilepsy is scheduled to undergo brain mapping to have a closer look at the origin of his seizures. To make the recordings electrodes are surgically implanted and they control the prosthetic limb. The prosthetic has been programmed in such a way that it corresponds to individual moment of finger.
Additionally to record the source of brain involved in brain moment, researchers outfitted the subject with glove having small vibrating buzzers in fingertips. When the subject thinks about moving a finger or thumb for example, this results in movement of the prosthetic finger or thumb which is amazing. The researchers also added that there was no pre-training required to make use of the prosthetic with maximum accuracy. They also added that there is a lot of work still required to make the prosthetic function for people with missing limbs.