News of a miraculous advancement in robotic medicine broke today and the story is truly amazing to hear. A quadriplegic man, Tim Hemmes, has finally regained the ability to function somewhat thanks to a robotic arm that he can control with his mind. Hemmes became paralyzed and quadriplegic seven years ago following a horrific motorcycle accident and thanks to the amazing advancement in medicine he can now control a robotic arm through electrodes placed in his mind.
The concept is not new, but it is the first time such an extreme case has been successful. Thanks to funding from Johns Hopkins University and Pittsburg Medical Center Hemmes was able to undergo the experimental and cutting edge surgery to implant electrodes into his brain just a few weeks ago. These electrodes are what make it completely possible for Hemmes to control the robotic arm.
After receiving the implants Hemmes went through extensive training to learn how to control the robotic arm as well as movements on a computer. As he advanced through training Hemmes eventually gained nearly complete control of the arm which essentially made it possible for him to reach out and touch someone. That is exactly what he did, for the first time in seven years Tim Hemmes reached out and took hold of his girlfriends hand, all without any help or support from anyone else. This is truly a miraculous and amazing story that shows how far medicine and robotic technologies are advancing.