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Medicine

Submission + - "Manhattan Project" for prosthetic arm

cortex writes: "The IEEE Spectrum has a nice story on DARPA's prosthetic limb project. From the article:

"Johns Hopkins researchers lead a nationwide effort to make a bionic arm that wires directly into the brain to let amputees regain motor control — and feeling".

In February, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) authorized the next phase of a four-year program to create prosthetic arms that can better emulate natural limbs. They will more closely match the real thing in appearance and function. And the user's ability to feel with them and control them will be vast improvements over anything currently available. The Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program is spread over 30 different organizations, including 10 universities across Canada, Europe, and the United States: the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, is working on signal processing and pattern recognition for natural arm control; the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, is working on electrodes for brain implants. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, Md., is "herding the cats," according to DARPA project manager Colonel Geoffrey Ling, ensuring that these far-flung research partners work together to make the bionic arm a near-term reality. Scientists involved say that this Manhattan Project-like system — on which DARPA has already spent US $30.4 million — is the only way to bring technology this advanced into the world by 2009."

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