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Mind Control Robotic Arm – A Great Biomedical Achievement!

Posted on the 13 June 2014 by Technogala @TechnoGala


Today we come across  many people who are paralyzed, or can’t perform regular hand movement like holding objects or picking some objects, just because of lack of the functional arm. Prosthetic arm is a ray of hope for them, which is successfully developed recently. User can control the prosthetic arm with their thoughts. This robotic arm has the same size and weight as any adult’s arm. It is capable of doing different hand movements.

With the help of mind control robotic arm, a paralyzed person can regain the ability to reach the outside world. This happened because of the latest technology, brain computer interface, which is used to operate a robotic arm. The robotic arm is directly controlled by thoughts.

The research team has used functional magnetic resonance imaging technique, which is a real time brain scanning system in the robotic arm. This technique helps to find the part of the brain, which actually lit up when a person thinks about moving the arm. Micro electrode devices are implanted in the exact part of the brain, which initiates movements. These electrodes are small in size. These electrodes are connected to the computer, which is connected to the robotic hand. Complex algorithm which is running on the computer, actually translate the signals from the brain.

Translating brain signals is a difficult task while developing mind controlled robotic arm. The task includes, the brain signals which indicate limb movement translate into the computer signals, which can accurately and reliably control robotic arm. Researchers said that once you find out the brain’s desired motion, then you can decode it in many ways. Neural signals from the brain get converted into digital commands. The robotic device follows these commands and execute the desired movement. If movement is more complex, then decoding task also becomes complex.

The person who is going to use this robotic arm, should get sufficient training on how to control it. Researchers said that we can modify this robotic arm to use wireless technology, which can avoid the wire connection between prosthesis and head. Furthermore, he said that this prosthesis can be made better by including sensory elements. This helps people to find difference between cold and hot or rough and smooth.

It is observed that the patients who are unable to do the movements like preparing food, combing hair, brushing, feeding oneself, using locks and keys, using zippers, are now able to perform activities with the help of mind control robotic arm. Research team assured that failure of robotic arm may not harm the patient. This robotic arm has safety features to avoid unwanted movements. This innovative robotic arm provides people a new option.

The brain-machine technology, which is used in the mind control robotic arm is a great biomedical achievement. This mind control robotic arm has speed and skill of human limb. Though there are many challenges in this technology, we are observing rapid developments in this type of systems.

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