Johns Hopkins Makes History After Double Amputee Controls Prosthetic Arms With His Thoughts

December 19, 2014

A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory's Modular Prosthetic Limbs.

man with no arms gets robot arms

Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period.

man with no arms gets robot arms

"It's a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and the hand," explained Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi, M.D. "By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform."

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