Mind-Controlled Bionic Arms A Reality for this Amputee

Double amputee Leslie Baugh just received two new bionic limbs that he can control using his thoughts. Jedi mind trick no longer.
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Double amputee Leslie Baugh just received two new bionic limbs that he can control using his thoughts. Jedi mind trick no longer.

2014 has been the year of limb solutions. No doubt about it. With our Project Daniel making waves on the developing world end of the spectrum, we've had a heightened awareness to all things happening in this space at the top end.

Dean Kamen's multi-million dollar Luke arm led the way, DARPA funded mind-controlled arms were discussed on Engadget yesterday, and Kotaku last night reported on the summer feats of Colorado native Leslie Baugh.

Les baugh bionic limb2.png

Les Baugh's arms were made by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory who had this to say about the effort: "A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period."

It having been 40 years since Les lost his limbs, he had to go through procedures to re-innervate nerves in his chest. The impracticality of the current system, is that Les has to separately think about each joint he wants to move,  e.g. moving his shoulder, then elbow, then wrist, then hand - check out the video, just released this week:

 Jan Scheuermann, who has longstanding quadriplegia, has been taking part in a study at the University of Pittsburgh for over two years:

An earlier video of Jan's work with the arm. One Giant Bite: Woman with Quadriplegia Feeds Herself Chocolate Using Mind-Controlled Robot Arm - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: