The robotics applied to medicine is going through its best years. Robotic limbs are soon emerging as new and modern solutions. These solutions improve the lives of patients with mobility problems through prosthetics and exoskeletons.
You Can Control This New Robotic Limb With Your Mind
You definitely have to think about the robotic limb very ambitiously. The classic prostheses will soon give way to advanced products. There would be new sensors, new materials, and even control with the mind that will be commonplace.
Two major projects, one of an arm and the other of an ankle, have shown us how far the technology and the impressive advances that have been made are currently able to reach and attentive because more will come.
Prostheses That Not Only Help You Walk But Do Better
After losing his ankle and foot, Gudmundur Olafsson spent several years walking with the help of a robotic ankle. Thanks to some sensors, he adjusted his movement properly to help Olafsson walk. The operation was automated and improvable.
However, updated prosthesis allows him to control the movement of the ankle and foot with his mind. And it also does it without the need for complicated surgeries. This has been possible because the information on the electrical impulses coming from your brain does not connect directly with the nerves of your muscles. However, they connect with sensors that the doctors place in your body through minimal surgery.
Some More Advantages Of Robotic Limbs
Another advantage of this new prosthesis is that you can include batteries in it. This implies that you do not have to replace the batteries again and again. Feeding is done directly from the top of the prosthesis.
Only two patients have taken up the testing of this prosthesis. Still, the project is now ready to enter the clinical trials phase to receive approval for commercialization. Well, experts are talking about completing this project in 5 years’ time.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota are publishing a breakthrough in neuronal interfaces by creating a system that allows you to control a robotic arm using only thoughts and without the need for surgical intervention.
This is the first project that uses a non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI), which consists of a helmet with an electroencephalography (EEG) configuration based on 64 electrodes that record the electrical activity of the brain. The key to everything is in a machine learning system that allows you to process the signal to decode it later and translate it into movements in the robotic arm.
In the first tests, a group of volunteers was asked to move a cursor on a computer screen. Later they made the jump to the physical world so that the arm was able to hold various objects from a table to take them to a shelf. The results were very encouraging since everyone managed to move the arm in a simple way. However, the precision ranged between 70 and 80 %. In addition to that, there are still a few seconds of delay between thought and action.
Fascinating Aspects Of Robotic Limbs
Undoubtedly it is a fascinating project that could benefit thousands of people. It will be highly beneficial for people who have suffered an amputation or are paraplegic or tetraplegic. Since one of the requirements to use this system is that the patient has ever had the limb or mobility in it. The plan is still in the developing phase.