Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 1:50PM
Four years ago, a 21-year-old Australian man lost both his arms after being electrocuted by 20,000 volts. Now he is able to control all of the joints in his left prosthetic arm by merely thinking about what he wants his arm to do, reported the BBC.
Otto Bock Healthcare, developers of the mind-controlled arm, say it is the first project of its kind in Europe.
Surgeons at Vienna General Hospital transplanted the nerves that previously controlled his healthy limb to the chest muscles.
The transplanted nerves allow electrical impulses from the brain to reach the muscles in the chest. The muscles act like a booster, amplifying the signal to a level that can be picked up by electrodes on the surface of the chest.
These signals are interpreted by a micro-computer, and used to control a prosthesis, which responds in real time to thoughts from his brain.