Four years ago an Austrian man lost both of his arms after getting electrocuted by 20,000 volts. Now he can do things that the rest of us can take for granted like driving a car and holding a glass of beer, thanks to his mind controlled robotic arm.
The 21 year old Christian Kandlbauer has a conventional prosthetic arm on his right, but can control all of the other arms joints by thinking about what he wants the arm to do.
The experts at the Otto Bock Healthcare company say the arm is the first of its kind in Europe. The project to develop the arm has taken four years with Christian as the “guinea pig”.
Surgeons took six hours transplanting the nerves that had previously controlled his healthy arm to the chest muscles; these then allow electrical impulses from the brain to reach the muscles in the chest.
A micro-computer interprets the signals to control a prosthesis and responds in real time to thoughts from Christian’s brain. For more on this story please visit the BBC website.