Nerve Controlled Prosthetics

As a teenager, Les Baugh ran into a set of power lines. The electricity “just evaporated" him, leaving him without arms.

They told him he would not walk. They told him he probably would not live more than a few years.

They didn’t bother to tell him he would never uses his hands again.

He performs a lot of daily tasks with his mouth and face.

Now he is “testing an advanced robotic prosthetic created at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.”

“These limbs. They are mind controlled.”
— Les

"You got the picture in mind of how you want everything to be. It takes a while to achieve that."

“When it don’t move quite right you start pushing yourself. You want it so bad. But it’s still out of reach.”

When he grabs it.

The look in his eye says victory.

It is a multi-year process of clinical research and commercialization which means Les cannot live with his arms yet.

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“The limbs should become part of them, not them becoming part of the machine.”
— Johns Hopkins member

"It’s basically more back to human. Being a whole person.” - Les

How it works:

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation - free nerve endings that formerly controlled muscles…

brain thinks “open the hand” > fires the end point of the nerve > contracts that muscle > sensed by prosthetic and mapped to coordinating pro-limb.

NYT Tags: Prosthetic limbs, controlled by thought.


Notes taken on a mobile device. Pardon any auto-corrections or incorrection.