Johns Hopkins University-led researchers have developed a new technique that let a partially paralyzed man feed himself using robotic arms connected through a brain-machine interface. People with arm paralysis might easily feed themselves in the future. In the long term, though, the team sees robotic arms like these restoring complex movements and providing more independence to people with disabilities. He only had to make small movements with his fists at certain prompts (such as "select cut location") to have the fork- and knife-equipped arms cut food and bring it to his mouth. He could map his four-degree freedom of movement (two for each hand) to as many as 12 degrees of freedom for controlling the robot arms. They also hope to improve the accuracy and efficiency while reducing the need for visual confirmation. He could have dessert within 90 seconds, according to the researchers. The limbs' prompt-based intelligent responses also reduced the workload. (Engadget). Continue reading.
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