Robotics and medical science unlocked new milestone today after a 28-year-old paralyzed man started to sense feelings through a robotic arm which was connected and synced with his brain signals. This heralds a new era in robotics, as millions of paralyzed people around the world have now a new hope of living a normal and lively life.
Nathan Copeland, who was injured in a car accident, said he is now able to sense feelings for the first time as a robotic arm was synced to his brain using button-sized small electrodes that were planted in his brain. These electrodes were implanted in locations in brain that are responsible for the sense neurons for hands, fingers and palms.
Professor Robert Gaunt, the leader of the program overlooking Mr. Copeland says that it’s a great start, but we still have a long way to go.
The latest breakthrough could unlock unimaginable vistas in the paralysis treatment. Prosthetic limbs have already been used all around the world for general movement and cosmetic purposes, but inducing a feel in these limbs is unprecedented in the history. The goal of the experts working in this domain is to make limbs that are closest to the natural muscles of humans.
Nathan Copeland registered himself to a program of volunteers for clinical trials. As a result a brain implant was done to him to check the first ever electrode surgery results.
Nathan is now able to feel pressure and tingles in his fingers whenever he touches something. The feeling is ‘weird’ for him partly due to the newness of the experience, and mainly due to the fact that there are still many changes and improvement that are needed to be executed to make this newly-induced feelings close to the natural condition. Nathan still cannot feel whether the thing he is touching is hot or cold. But the sense of touch is completely there. He can also pinpoint which finger is being touched while blindfolded.
The results have set a landmark in the paralysis treatment, and scientists have a new hope now, which will trigger even more research and development in this field.