A man from Colorado has made history by becoming the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and operate two robotic Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPLs), which he received from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory.
Les Baugh lost both his arms 40 years ago in an electrical accident, but thanks to a combination of 3D scanning, the latest robotics, pattern recognition algorithms, and cutting edge neural surgery he gained two new robotic arms which he can control simultaneously using the power of thought alone.
"It’s a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and the hand,” explains Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi, M.D. "By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform."
Here's Baugh moving his hand.
Looking at the video of Baugh controlling his sci-fi-esque prosthetics, it doesn't look real. It looks like CGI. But it is real, which makes it bizarre yet totally astonishing.
And this is just the beginning according to RP Principal Investigator Michael McLoughlin. "I think we are just getting started. It’s like the early days of the Internet. There is just a tremendous amount of potential ahead of us, and we’ve just started down this road. And I think the next five to 10 years are going to bring phenomenal advancement."
Remind you of anything?