A paralysed woman who controlled a robotic arm using just her thoughts has taken another step towards restoring her natural movements by controlling the arm with a range of complex hand movements.
Thanks to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Jan Scheuermann, who has longstanding quadriplegia and has been taking part in the study for over two years, has gone from giving “high fives” to the “thumbs-up” after increasing the manoeuvrability of the robotic arm from seven dimensions (7D) to 10 dimensions (10D).
The extra dimensions come from four hand movements – finger abduction, a scoop, thumb extension and a pinch – and have enabled Scheuermann to pick up, grasp and move a range of objects much more precisely than with the previous 7D control.
It is hoped that these latest results, which have been published today, 17 December, in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Neural Engineering, can build on previous demonstrations and eventually allow robotic arms to restore natural arm and hand movements in people with upper limb paralysis.
Take me to the story: Thumbs-up for mind-controlled robotic arm