7/16/2015 - While athletes at the recently completed Warrior Games were able to run, jump and throw using some of the latest prosthetic arms and legs, the next generation of this technology will allow them to do much more.
“We have developed prosthetics that interact directly with the brain and move much like a real limb. Beyond movement, these advances will restore the sense of touch,” said Michael McLoughlin, chief engineer for Research and Exploratory Development at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “This will give wounded warriors and all who have lost use of their arms by amputation or paralysis much better options in the future.”
McLoughlin’s lab is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the military’s primary research and development office for cutting edge technologies. DARPA, in turn, is one of the agencies that work with the Military Health System to make sure wounded warriors get the prosthetics needed to live as normal a life as possible. Much of what he talks about in how the artificial limbs interact with the body’s own nerves is futuristic, but he says some of technology is available now. “Today we are working in the lab. In a few years, we expect the technology to be much more common.”
But McLoughlin is quick to point out that this is not easy. As an example, he said, “Hold your hand up and wiggle your fingers.” read more>>>