This week (6 – 12 February) is National Apprenticeship Week. The 2023 theme is ‘Skills for Life’, highlighting how the expert training offered by an apprenticeship can lead to a...Read more
There are so many aspects of every day life that many of us take for granted, whether it be deciding what drink to have or whether to gulp it down in one go or savour the flavour. However, catastrophic life changing injuries can often taken away the most basic of human independence and choice as is demonstrated by Mr Sorto who has been paraplegic since sustaining a gun shot wound to the neck over a decade ago.
As a result of this injury he has been dependant on others for so many aspects of his life and, like so many others with similar injuries, wanted to regain just a little of the autonomy that he missed.
Modern science has stepped in to assist with the first Neuro prosthetic device which is implanted into the brain where intentions are made. The difference between this technology and other similar attempts is the location of the device in the brain. In this case it was in the posterior parietal cortex or the “higher region” of the brain which has led to the success where previous attempts in other areas of the brain provided for jerky and sometimes unpredictable movements.
Mr Sorto was the first to trial this groundbreaking technology and essentially was able to control the use of a robotic arm with his brain alone. This development surely opens up opportunity for further research and for devices to be made more readily available to those with spinal injuries and neurological problems in the future. It appears that the next step in refining the device is for the arm to be able to feedback information to the brain, as a functioning arm would, an incredibly exciting prospect.
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