Paralysed man is able to feed himself for the first time in 30 years thanks to robotic arms

  • 09 Jul - 15 Jul, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
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A partially paralysed man was recently able to feed himself thanks to the use of specialised robotic arms hooked up to his brain through a brain-machine interface. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a two-arm system that allowed the man, who has not been able to use his fingers in 30 years, to use utensils to cut and bring food to his mouth. "Although our results are preliminary, we are excited about giving users with limited capability a true sense of control over increasingly intelligent assistive machines," Dr Francesco Tenore, a senior project manager in APL's Research and Exploratory Development department, told The Independent. The development is part of an achievement in brain-computer interfaces, researchers say. The technology is poised to help those who are paralysed as well as patients with other neurological disorders, according to the outlet. "This research is a great example of this philosophy where we knew we had all the tools to demonstrate this complex bimanual activity of daily living that non-disabled people take for granted," Tenore told The Independent. "Many challenges still lie ahead, including improved task execution, in terms of both accuracy and timing, and closed-loop control without the constant need for visual feedback," he said.