Brain-machine interface which controls prosthetic hands

People who have lost an extremity, often replace it with a prosthetic device. The current rudimentary prosthesis is incapable of any action and them only visually replace the lost limb.

Of course, the technology and science are evolving at an accelerated pace, and they begin to solve these problems. From the past, we had known a successful experiment where a patient was controlling his prosthetic hands using direct binding to his nerve system. Today we have an update. The researchers from the University of Houston created a system based on electroencephalogram (EEG a is test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp), which can be worn on the head and it can successfully control external prosthetic hand with 80% success rate.

The equipment was demonstrated by 56-year-old man, and it is non-invasive, which can be a great relief for all patients. Scientists first made an analysis of brain waves via EEG, when the user wants to capture an object or move his hand. In addition, they successfully managed the bionic artificial hand when she was physically set the shoulders of the user, using a specially made interpreter of brain waves (brain-computer environment).

According to Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, neuroscientist and engineer at the University, the Non-Invasive method offers several advantages: it avoids the risk that exists when implanted electrodes measure brain activity, and it replaces the need for so-called myoelectrical systems that connect directly to the nerves of the patient. The study of this team of researchers is published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. The study further analyzed several other people who haven’t lost a part of the body, in various situations such as the capture and release of objects, tightening and movement of the arm and hand and similar.

Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal and his team believe that the efficiency of the system can reach up to 100% with additional practice, along with refining the algorithm.

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