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Category: Powered Wheelchair Accessories

Thought Controlled Wheelchair-Mounted Robotic Arm

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: Scientists at the University of South Florida have created a prototype of a wheelchair-mounted robotic arm controlled by thought to be used by individuals with ALS or full body paralysis. This device will allow those with severely limited mobility to perform simple daily activities for him- herself. EEG scans have allowed patients with ALS to communicate through monitored electronic brain impulses (P300 brain waves). Using these EEG-related technologies with the wheelchair-mounted robotic arm, the individual in the wheelchair looks at directional arrows flashing across a small screen. When the arrow points in the direction they want to go, their brain lights up on the EEG, then the wheelchair or robotic arm moves accordingly. There is an approximate seven second delay between arrow cycling across the screen. The robotic arm currently can lift only four pounds, about the weight of a gallon of milk. Modifications to the robotic arm making it lighter and more durable will add to the amount of weight it can withhold. There is currently only one model of the WMRA available and it unclear when this will become commercially available due to the specific brain interface training and practice it will require of the user. TITLE: Wheelchair arm controlled by thought alone. AUTHOR: Eric Bland. JOURNAL: MSNBC.com. REF: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29430690/. PAGES: 1 with cover.

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as of: 
09/02/2009
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