The Braingate Robotic Arm Moves Based on Human Thought

By: Sarah Moore - Published: May 20, 2012 • References: news.brown.edu and gizmag
For a paralyzed individual, the ability to move their arm or leg in the same way as everyone else used to be more science-fiction than reality, but the BrainGate robotic arm is making that dream a bit more tangible.

While still in very early stages of development, the device has made great strides toward completing a functioning prosthetic limb that is operated using a person's thoughts.

By implanting a tiny computer chip the size of a baby Aspirin into the cortex of the subject's brain, a robotic arm could be controlled in the same way that someone with full limb functionality would move -- by simply thinking about moving.

While there is much more research to be done, especially when it comes to making a wireless option to avoid surgical implantation, the device brings revived motor function a little bit closer to reality for those who have lost that ability.