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Hopkins University researchers get $34.5M to test thought-controlled prosthetic limb system

Scientists at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, based in Laurel, MD, want to get into the minds of amputees who use prosthetic limbs. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded researchers a $34.5 million contract to begin testing a new prosthetic limb system controlled by the amputees' thoughts.

Here's an excerpt:

"APL scientists and engineers developed the underlying technology under DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program, an ambitious four-year effort to create a prosthetic arm that would by far eclipse the World War II era hook-and-cable device used by most amputees. The program has already produced two complex prototypes, each advancing the art of upper-arm prosthetics.

The final design -- the MPL -- offers 22 degrees of motion, including independent movement of each finger, in a package that weighs about nine pounds (the weight of a natural limb). Providing nearly as much dexterity as a natural limb, the MPL is capable of unprecedented mechanical agility and is designed to respond to a user's thoughts."

Read the entire article here.

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