The advancements of prosthetics have been somewhat in the shadows for the past few years. I have no idea why, since these recent advancements seem like they are straight out of a science-fiction movie. Though, big news organizations have started to pick up on these stories recently.
Engineers out of Johns Hopkins University have actually been researching their M.P.L. (Modular Prosthetic Limb) since 2006, a prosthetic arm that can literally be controlled by an amputee’s mind.
This is Les Baugh, a double amputee since he was a teenager. Since using Johns Hopkins’ M.P.L., he has improved his dexterity with the device. Engineers say that it is possible to have actual feeling in the prosthetic as the nerves begin to root themselves deeper with the arm. Mr. Baugh had to undergo surgery to remap his nerves from his shoulders and pectorals in order for this device to work.
The goal in the future is to have a wearable cap that one can wear on their head instead of undergoing surgery in order to use the arm. This will make the use of it less invasive and possibly less expensive.
This not the only device that is capable of being controlled by the mind. DARPA, an agency for the U.S. Department of Defense has created their own similar device that is arguably even better than Johns Hopkins’ invention.