Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In the year 2004 , a woman named Claudia Mitchell lost her left arm in a motorbike accident. A couple of years later on, she has become the very first woman to have a bionic arm - a prosthetic limb that she controls with her mind. The robotic arm was produced from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago , and also was engineered for $3 million. Mitchell, who used to peel bananas using both feet and one hand , is now able to hold things , pick up cups , as well as move her prosthetic arm basically as naturally as her real one. 

So how exactly does it work? 
Mitchell's arm is "myoelectric ," which means that it accumulates electrical signals heading straight from her mind, down her nerves. Electrodes facilitate the signals jump from her body, to the prosthesis, which utilizes a computer to determine which movement Mitchell is thinking about. 

Surgeons created this procedure easier by redirecting a lot of the nerves of Mitchell's arm to her chest. Although there are certain unusual outputs of the process - for instance, whenever she showers, Mitchell senses the water reaching a phantom "arm"  when it hits her chest. There are various areas throughout her chest muscles that, when touched, cause sensations like "that's my elbow" or "that's my hand." Whenever she recognizes those, experts connect electrodes to those areas and then program the computer in her arm to identify signals out of them as "elbow" or "hand" signals. This provides her relatively granular control over the arm. 

As being one of the very first volunteers to undergo the nerve-rerouting surgical procedure, along with to get a brain-controlled prosthetic, Mitchell is a real Posthuman front runner. 
Via: io9.com


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