By tapping directly into the brain’s electrical signals, scientists at John’s Hopkins University, in Baltimore, are on their way to developing a prosthetic hand more dexterous than ever before. They have demonstrated for the first time that neural activity recorded from a monkey’s brain can control fingers on a robotic hand, making it play several notes on a piano.
“We would hope that eventually, we’ll be able to implant similar arrays permanently in the motor cortex of human subjects,” says Mark Schieber, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester, in New York, who is working on the project. However, researchers caution that a practical human version of the neural interface is still a long way off.
– Watch the translation of neural activity into robotic finger movements.
– Watch a robotic hand, controlled by neural activity, play “Frère Jacques.”
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