Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Smartness

In reference to Smart Prosthetics, Smart Nerves, Smart Brains:

From the wikipedia link on haptic technology, check out the virtual back that gives osteopathic students feedback on their handling. Hopefully it will help them learn to have lighter touch. I see the virtual back has no nerves associated with it. There is also a link to a site about a robotic hand which looks promising.

I found some more links that have to do with the bionic arm:

1. Here is Todd Kuiken, the surgeon who performed the nerve transplant.
2. Here is Claudia Mitchell, the girl with a new left arm.
3. Here is Jesse Sullivan, the man who had nerve transplantation, with Dr. Kuiken.
4. Here is more about Jesse Sullivan, and we are also introduced to the work of Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian researcher.
"Some of the most innovative research is being done by Miguel Nicolelis, a neurologist at Duke. He has bypassed the muscle system entirely. His experiments are based on directly reading the firing of neurons in the brains of monkeys. Neurosurgeons implanted an electrode with tiny wires into the surface of an animal's brain, and then connected them to a computer."

5. He was able to train a monkey to walk on a treadmill, put implants in her brain, which picked up her intent to walk, to send signals to a robot in Japan, which in turn walked on a treadmill. All in real time. Check it out. This is quite amazing to me.

1 comment:

Kent said...

I thought the arm was pretty amazing, but the monkey experiment is even more so. The fact that they could use direct detection of neurons firing in the brain is astounding. There has long been speculation about such a thing, but this is the first time I have seen it actually working so well.
Friday night I watched "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" a movie based on the memoir of a man with locked in syndrome who "dictated" by blinking one eye (the only movement he had left). One can imagine him holding his children with a prosthetic body, and perhaps even "feeling" the touch of their cheek on his "hand". Very intriguing!