Prosthetic Arm Controlled by Imagining a Motion

Controlling a prosthetic arm by just imagining a motion may be possible through the work of Mexican scientists at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies. First, it is necessary to know if there is a memory pattern in the amputee's brain in order to know how the arm moved. The pattern is then translated to instructions for the prosthesis.

The electric signal won't come from the muscles that form the stump, but from the movement patterns of the brain. The prosthesis could only be used by individuals who once had their entire arm and had it amputated due to accident or illness. Patients were able to move the arm naturally and stored in their memory the process that would apply for use of the prosthesis.

The prosthesis incorporates a mechanical and electronic system, the elements necessary to activate it, and a section that would interpret the brain signals. The prosthesis represents a new brain computer interface that provides is a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device in order to help or repair sensory and motor functions.