kottke.org: Bionic men and women walk among us

For The Verge, Russell Brandom writes about the increasing use of neural implants to control the symptoms of a variety of diseases, from depression to Parkinson’s to dystonia.

The results are as reliable as flipping a light switch, but even after decades of testing, no one knows exactly why it…

The Past, Present and Future of Bionic Eyes
Next-generation bionic eyes are practically here today. Imagine a blind person’s real-world conundrum trying to shop for one — they could schedule surgery for Nano Retina’s implant today and see their daughter’s wedding in 576-pixel clarity, but it would cost them their life’s savings. The Nano Retina 5000-pixel device could be ready tomorrow, or in another six months… and would be much more affordable. When the procedure involves assimilation of an electrode pincushion into the ganglionic tentacles of your retina, hardware upgrades are not as simple as popping in more RAM. What kind of decision matrix could be offered under such critical circumstances?
(via The past, present, and future of bionic eyes | ExtremeTech)

The Past, Present and Future of Bionic Eyes

Next-generation bionic eyes are practically here today. Imagine a blind person’s real-world conundrum trying to shop for one — they could schedule surgery for Nano Retina’s implant today and see their daughter’s wedding in 576-pixel clarity, but it would cost them their life’s savings. The Nano Retina 5000-pixel device could be ready tomorrow, or in another six months… and would be much more affordable. When the procedure involves assimilation of an electrode pincushion into the ganglionic tentacles of your retina, hardware upgrades are not as simple as popping in more RAM. What kind of decision matrix could be offered under such critical circumstances?

(via The past, present, and future of bionic eyes | ExtremeTech)

(via joshbyard)

VA Medical Centers Working on Brain-Controlled Leg Prosthesis
a team of researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, California have [made] progress with a robotic leg prosthesis controlled by EEG signals.
As you might expect, things remain a bit limited at this point — not amounting to much more than the ability to start and stop — but the researchers say they’ve been able to achieve a 100 percent response rate with no “false alarms,” and that the results are promising enough to begin tackling additional degrees of freedom like turning and sitting.
…The system has so far only been tested on able-bodied individuals, [but] the researchers hope that it will eventually be able to aid those with spinal cord injuries and aid in rehabilitation.


(via Researchers tout progress with brain-controlled robotic legs — Engadget)

VA Medical Centers Working on Brain-Controlled Leg Prosthesis

a team of researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, California have [made] progress with a robotic leg prosthesis controlled by EEG signals.

As you might expect, things remain a bit limited at this point — not amounting to much more than the ability to start and stop — but the researchers say they’ve been able to achieve a 100 percent response rate with no “false alarms,” and that the results are promising enough to begin tackling additional degrees of freedom like turning and sitting.

…The system has so far only been tested on able-bodied individuals, [but] the researchers hope that it will eventually be able to aid those with spinal cord injuries and aid in rehabilitation.

(via joshbyard)

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years
Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.
The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.
DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years

Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.

The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.

DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

whisperoftheshot:

Human Trials Next for Darpa’s Mind-Controlled Artificial Arm 
Pentagon-backed scientists are getting ready to test thought-controlled prosthetic arms on human subjects, by rewiring their brains to fully integrate the artificial limbs.
gizmodo

whisperoftheshot:

Human Trials Next for Darpa’s Mind-Controlled Artificial Arm

Pentagon-backed scientists are getting ready to test thought-controlled prosthetic arms on human subjects, by rewiring their brains to fully integrate the artificial limbs.

gizmodo