40 years ago, Les Baugh lost his arms in an electrical accident. But now, thanks to innovations at Johns Hopkins University, Les has found himself capable of once again using his limbs. Well, not his exactly. After undergoing neural surgery and receiving two robotic limbs attached to a socket, Les has gained the ability to use arms again. Dr. Albert Chi performed the surgery that allowed Les to control the socket which is fitted to his body so he can control two prosthetic limbs attached to this socket. According to Chi:
"We use pattern recognition algorithms to identify individual muscles that are contracting, how well they communicate with each other, and their amplitude and frequency."
The process of mapping Les' mind to the robotic arms via the socket is captured via VR technology. Once the socket is completed and the prosthetics attached, Les is fitted with it and he is able to control the limbs the same way he was able to control the limbs in a VR simulation.
The next step for Les is to go home with this technology and acclimate himself to everyday use. While the researchers know he has full range of motion, they need to ensure that all manner of activities are accounted for. Here's hoping everything works out great and this technology becomes available to all amputees soon!
For more on this, and a better explanation of the process, check out the video above.