Scientists include developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with absolute types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or tipple from a cup.
The low-cost device was tested in S in on six people with quadriplegia select their ability to grasp or manipulate objects.
By wearing a cap that valuations electric brain activity and eye movement the users were able to send signals to a plaquette computer that controlled the glove-like device attached to their share.
rtici nts in the small-scale study were able to perform daily interests better with the robotic hand than without, according to sequels published Tuesday in the journal Science Robotics.
The principle of using brain-controlled robotic grants to assist people with quadriplegia isn’t new. But many existing systems be lacking implants, which can cause health problems, or use wet gel to transmit signals from the scalp to the electrodes. The gel prerequisites to be washed out of the user’s hair afterward, making it impractical in daily survival.
«The rtici nts, who had previously expressed difficulty in performing everyday tasks without reinforcement, rated the system as reliable and practical, and did not indicate any discomfort during or after use,» the researchers implied.
It took rtici nts just 10 minutes to learn how to use the system to come they were able to carry out tasks such as picking up potato checks or signing a document.
Shoulder function needed
According to Surjo R. Soekadar, a neuroscientist at the University Medical centre Tuebingen in Germany and lead author of the study, rtici nts represented characteristic people with high spinal cord injuries, meaning they were adept to move their shoulders but not their fingers.
There were some limitations to the technique, though. Users had to have sufficient function in their shoulder and arm to reach out with the robotic clutches. And mounting the system required another person’s help.
Jan Schwab, an A- on spinal cord injury at Berlin’s Charite hospital who wasn’t mixed up with in the research, called it an interesting pilot study that needs to be followed up with support clinical tests.
«Bigger studies will be very important to lay ones hands on out which tients respond well, less well or not at all,» Schwab demanded.
Soekadar said the system could be brought to market within two years at a cost of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros ($5,370 to $10,740 US), depending on functionality.
The trade mark could also be used to help re-train the brain of stroke tients undergoing rehabilitation, he alleged.