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Paralyzed Woman Can Move Objects With Her Mind With Robotic Arm

A woman who is paralyzed from her neck down can now move different objects just by using her thoughts thanks to a new robotic arm that scientists from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have created. According to a report by New Scientist on Dec. 17, the scientists from this university have implanted two electrode grids inside the woman’s brain which allow for the robotic arm to learn different movements just by reading her thoughts.

The paralyzed woman, Jan Scheuermann, lost all movement and control of everything from her neck down in 2003. However, thanks to the grids in her brain and the new robotic arm developed by Jennifer Collinger from the University of Pittsburgh and her co-workers, Jan is able to move different objects different ways with the robotic arm learning her thoughts through the grids in her brain.

According to NBC News, Jan was even able to use the arm and her mind to beat her brother at the game of rock, paper, scissors. How cool is that? She has been using the robotic arm for two years now and according to the report, she even made the news in 2012 by using the arm and her thoughts to feed herself some chocolate.

After two years of trying out the arm, scientists say they have fine-tuned it enough to stop the often clumsy movements it was making. Jan even nicknamed the arm, Hector.

She says,

It just looked like a ‘Hector.’

She previously spent two  years with bolts from neural implants sticking out of the top of her head and she nicknamed them ‘Lewis’ and ‘Clark.’ She stated to NBC News that the reason she nicknamed the bolts this,

That’s because they’re exploring ad charting new territory.’

The scientists and Jan later on found out that in Greek, ‘Hector’ actually means to grasp. How appropriate and cool is that?

What do you think about this new robotic arm using this woman’s thoughts to allow her to move objects with the arm? This is really cool, don’t you think? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below and let everyone know what you think about this cool new technology.

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