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Paralyzed Patients Control Robotic Arm With Thoughts

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Once upon a time, paralysis typically meant that an individual would be reliant on someone else for the rest of their life to assist them with daily functions. But thanks to technological advances, all that is changing. It is amazing what technology can do for us and I never cease to be amazed by the most current gizmos and gadgets. The robotic arm is one example of the type of technology that is changing people's lives.

Like something out of Avatar, the robotic arm allows a paralyzed individual to control the device with their mind. Researchers developing the device implanted a tiny sensor in the the patients' brains that monitors their nerve signals and turns them into commands for the robotic device. The robotic arm is called the Deka Arm System and has proven promising for at least two people paralyzed by strokes.

Both the 58-year-old woman and the 66-year-old man that participated in the study were paralyzed by strokes. The woman has been unable to lift anything since she had the stroke back in 1996. She was given a new chance to accomplish this often overlooked daily task when she lifted a bottled drink and drank from a straw with the aid of the robotic arm. The researchers are hopeful that the robotic arm will help paralyzed individuals gain a new mastery over their daily life skills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogBX18maUiM

Just the look on the woman's face when she lifted the bottle and drank from the straw should be enough to keep them moving forward in search of the solution.