A robotic arm breakthrough?

We at __The Scientist__ are always on the lookout for overhyped research, and we suspect we've run across an example in an linkurl:Associated Press;http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091202/ap_on_sc/eu_italy_robotic_hand story about a brain-controlled prosthetic arm published yesterday (December 2). The article stated that researchers in Italy had used a robotic arm, controlled via electrodes implanted in the nerves of an amputee's arm, that allowed him "to feel sensations in the artificial limb an

Edyta Zielinska
Dec 2, 2009
We at __The Scientist__ are always on the lookout for overhyped research, and we suspect we've run across an example in an linkurl:Associated Press;http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091202/ap_on_sc/eu_italy_robotic_hand story about a brain-controlled prosthetic arm published yesterday (December 2). The article stated that researchers in Italy had used a robotic arm, controlled via electrodes implanted in the nerves of an amputee's arm, that allowed him "to feel sensations in the artificial limb and control it with his thoughts."
Patient Pierpaolo Petruzziello next
to the robotic arm

Image: Courtesy of Universita Campus
Bio-Medico di Roma and Scuola
Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa.
The feeling sensations bit would be a major breakthrough in the field, said linkurl:Chet Moritz;http://faculty.washington.edu/ctmoritz/main/ from University of Washington School of Medicine, with the potential to give patients the ability to control a robotic arm by sensation alone, rather than adjusting their movements based on where they see their arm move. But the story isn't...




Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?