A woman who was paralyzed more than 10 years ago due to a spinal disease has controlled a robotic arm using nothing but brainwaves, The Guardian reports. Since being stricken time, she’s had no use of her limbs, or indeed anything below her neck.
She was recruited by doctors at the University of Pittsburgh to test a new robotic arm that uses neural activity to establish control and movement.
The woman, whose name is withheld for privacy reasons, has surprised the doctors with how well she’s been able to use the arm. Within weeks of beginning her training, she could move the arm in all directions as well as pick objects up and move them around and on top of other objects.
The woman underwent a four-hour operation to prepare her to use the new arm. Doctors implanted tiny electrodes into her brain. The electrodes monitor her neural activity and send signals that control the robotic arm.
Here’s a video of the patient controlling the arm: