A paralyzed man can now move his hand with his own thoughts! Wow!
Ian Burkhart was only a teenager when he lost all movement in his hands and legs. He broke his neck after diving into waves during a beach holiday when he was 19.
He has become the first person to be implanted with technology that sends signals from the brain to muscles, allowing him to regain some movement in his right arm hand and wrist, is providing novel insights about how the brain reacts to injury.
Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus were developing a reanimation technology and, why not, they decided to have the microchip implanted, which was the best thing that could happen to Ian, because now, with their help, he is currently able to make isolated finger movements and perform six different wrist and hand motions, enabling him to, among other things, pick up a glass of water, and even play a guitar-based video game.
Of course, there are limitations on the freedom that the device affords Burkhart. The system can be used only in the laboratory and needs to be recalibrated at the start of each session, also, can’t feel the objects that he’s manipulating.
But hey, this is a so remarkable story, and at least, Ian can now do things that he wasn’t be able to do before.
Thank you, technology! you do good things for people like Ian Burkhart.