Robotic arm controlled by a brain-reading chip
Erik Sorto, from California, is able to control robotic arm using a chip that is implanted into his brain. Scientists revealed that the electrical impulses in the brain, can be used for controlling the artificial limbs. This discovery shows us that in the near future people with damaged or no limbs, will be able to use robotic arms and legs. Sorto was shot at the age 21. The bullet damaged his spinal cord. Due to damages, he was paralyzed from the neck down. This discovery allowed him to drink water, using his robotic arm.
In order to achieve this, doctors implanted 2 tiny sensors into Sorto’s brain. They must monitor the activity of 100 brain cells. Previous studies were focused on the motor cortex (the part of the brain that controls muscles). The team from the US, implanted those sensors in the posterior parietal cortex. This part of the brain in responsible for initial intensions. First time, when Sorto tried to use his robotic limb, he moved it and place it as he shake hands.
After a lot of practice, Sorto is able to pick up a drink or control a cursor on the computer screen. Now, Mr. Sorto is trilled for this new possibility. He said that he will be able to drink a beer at his own pace and he wouldn’t need help for this. In addition, he really misses that independence. Luckily, this robotic arm can give it back to him. Not too much, but enough for now.