Thought-controlled prosthesis (credit: Integrum)

A novel thought-controlled prosthesis for amputees

November 30, 2012

An implantable robotic arm controlled by thoughts is being developed by Chalmers University of Technology industrial doctoral student Max Ortiz Catalan in Sweden.

Ever since the 1960s, amputees have been able to use prostheses controlled by electrical impulses in the muscles, their functionality is limited because they are difficult to control, according to Catalan.

Today’s standard socket prostheses, which are attached to the body using a socket tightly fitted on the amputated stump, are so uncomfortable and limiting that only 50 percent of arm amputees are willing to use one at all, he says, and “all movements must by pre-programmed.”

So he developed a new bidirectional interface and a natural, intuitive control system. It uses a Brånemark titanium implant, which anchors the prosthesis directly to the skeleton through what is known as Osseointegration (direct connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing artificial implant). This allows for permanent access to the electrodes that we will attach directly to nerves and muscles.

Read more: A novel thought-controlled prosthesis for amputees | KurzweilAI.

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