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Improving the Abilities of Bionic Arm Patients 46

Al writes "Tech Review has an article about the progress being made on prosthetic arms that can be controlled using nerves that once connected to the missing limb via muscles in the chest. Todd Kuiken, director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Bionic Medicine has pioneered the technique, which has so far given more than 30 patients the ability to control a mechanical prosthetic simply by thinking about moving their old arm. Those who have had the procedure report using their arm to slice hot peppers, open a bag of flour, put on a belt, operate a tape measure, or remove a new tennis ball from a container. The next step is to add sensing capabilities to the arms so that this information can be fed back to the reconnected nerves."

Bionic Arm Might Go Into Clinical Trials 107

prostoalex writes "The bionic arm project sponsored by DARPA is nearing completion, and might undergo clinical trials. 'The arm has motor control fine enough for test subjects to pluck chocolate-covered coffee beans one by one, pick up a power drill, unlock a door, and shake a hand. Six preconfigured grip settings make this possible, with names like chuck grip, key grip, and power grip. The different grips are shortcuts for the main operations humans perform daily.'"

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