Print 17 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Aug 10 at 8:21 AM

Plugs directly into the brain.

A revolutionary advancement in artificial limbs will provide the first hard-wired brain-control of bionic body parts.  The John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have joined forces to develop the brain-interface Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL).  

The limb will be controlled by computer cursors implanted in the brain and will restore the sense of touch by sending electrical impulses from the limb back to the sensory cortex.

APL was awarded a $34.5 million contract with the government agency to begin testing the prototype on human subjects over the next two years, according to a Hopkins Applied Physics Lab press release and Singularity Hub.

"We’ve developed the enabling technologies to create upper-extremity prosthetics that are more natural in appearance and use, a truly revolutionary advancement in prosthetics," said APL Program Manager Michael McLoughlin. "Now, in Phase 3, we are ready to test it with humans to demonstrate that the system can be operated with a patient’s thoughts and that it can provide that patient with sensory feedback, restoring the sensation of touch."

The MLP includes 22 degrees of motion, allows independent control of all five fingers, and weighs the same as a natural human limb (about nine pounds). 

The MPL will be the first artificial limb that can bypass spinal cord injury connect directly into the brain.  This would be beneficial for quadriplegic patients that are unable to use some traditional prosthetics, specifically those controlled by the feet.  They would be the first human subjects tested for the project.    

Researchers on the project have found that so far their biggest hurdle to overcome is increasing the short lifespan of the implants.  Embedded in brain tissue, the silicon chips erode over time and would need to be replaced within two years.

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I don't get it.
By AssBall on 8/9/2010 7:13:42 AM , Rating: 2
How do you implant a computer cursor in someone's brain? What am I missing?

RE: I don't get it.
By CvP on 8/9/2010 7:58:13 AM , Rating: 5
Point your mouse cursor on someone's brain and double click!

RE: I don't get it.
By FITCamaro on 8/9/2010 8:10:54 AM , Rating: 3
Probably not the same kind of cursor as what you're thinking.

They probably mean a cursor in the sense that certain parts of the brain direct motor function and they put sensors in to read those impulses and direct the artificial limb.

Of course for all we know its just another messed up word and another fine example of the impeccable editing process that DTs articles go through.

I think 8th graders have better writing skills than some of the people at DT.

RE: I don't get it.
By KillerNoodle on 8/9/2010 8:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yup...Example...What is MLP? (5th Paragraph)

RE: I don't get it.
By FITCamaro on 8/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: I don't get it.
By KillerNoodle on 8/9/2010 9:32:46 AM , Rating: 4
I was pointing out that the 5th paragraph has the wrong acronym.

RE: I don't get it.
By nstott on 8/9/2010 1:52:24 PM , Rating: 3
Major League Polo. These disabled people will be able to play polo again. It should have been obvious from the context! :P

RE: I don't get it.
By bobny1 on 8/9/2010 7:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
"Multiple Loving Partners"..LOL

RE: I don't get it.
By tastyratz on 8/10/2010 8:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
must love penguins. If your not a fan of tuxedo birds its back to the plastic legs with you!

RE: I don't get it.
By TSS on 8/9/2010 8:46:35 AM , Rating: 3
From Singulairity Hub:

Patients will control the MPL with a surgically implanted microarray which records action potentials directly from the motor cortex.

From the HAPL:

The team will develop implantable micro-arrays used to record brain signals and stimulate the brain

Which becomes "computer cursor" on daily tech, while google can find many definitions for "cursor" it does not find any you'd want in a brain. Only the original latin makes sense, "someone that moves", but their not having someone that moves implanted in their brain, it's them which is the beauty of it.

Simply put, If you're going to copy the news atleast copy it correctly. This is just ripping off and beeing careless about it.

RE: I don't get it.
By jlips6 on 8/9/2010 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
In other experimental prosthetics, usually for amputee's, there is a large nerve cluster that develops where the limb was amputated. by using conditioning and a series of electrodes, you don't even have to touch the brain, you can train the prosthetic to react just like a regular arm by integrating it with the nerve cluster. The only difference is, you can't feel the arm itself.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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