Washington science conference focuses on bionics and thought control

first_imgAt a recent science conference in Washington several of the leading scientists have been discussing the latest innovations in thought control and bionics.Scientists from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland (EPFL) were keen to showcase their technology which allows those who are paralyzed to control their wheelchairs using the power of thought (Japanese scientists have also been working on a similar project).More specifically, by wearing a modified cap the individual can control the wheelchair using brain signals which are picked up by the cap and then transmitted to the wheelchair. A prototype of this system was created last year and you can see it in action below.It is innovative techniques like this that scientist believe could lead to new methods for controlling bionic limbs. Currently there are techniques for allowing those with arms amputated above the elbow to control their bionic limbs using nerve signals taken from the remaining part of the arm. This technique is called Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) surgery.However they want to take it a step further and allow the wearer to not only use the limbs to aid in their day-to-day lives, but also to feel what they are touching. Researchers are hoping that they can create bionic limbs that respond to multiple signals from the human body, which they hope leads to bionic hands with individually controllable fingers that have sensations.Bionics have certainly come on a long way it seems, with some individuals now opting for bionic limbs over the real ones. One such example is a man called “Patrick” from Austria who having sustained massive injuries to his left hand during a freak accident decided to have his useless hand amputated and replaced with a prosthetic arm which he can use to grip items. It was the first time he had been able to perform tasks using this hand in several years.Read more at BBC Newslast_img read more

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