All kinds of interesting stuff that comes out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) projects but usually things that are many years out from being anything beyond just lab projects.
However there is a project that DARPA has been working on for over the past five years after being funded over $100 million by the agency. The project is part of of its just announced Innovation Pathway and involves a mind-controlled robotic arm that is controlled by a microchip in the users brain.
The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.
DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.
Now that the arm has been expedited through the FDA’s program, Johns Hopkins will implant its microchips in five patients and monitor them for a year.
Apparently if the next round of human testing goes okay we are being told that we could see these on the market within four to five years. Now the question is whether or not we will be able to afford.