Robotic Arm Obeys Thought Commands
Advanced prosthetic limb transfers feeling back to amputee
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 3:00 PM CST
This photo shows Pierpaolo Petruzziello's amputated hand linked with electrodes to a robotic hand, seen at top, as part of an experiment, called LifeHand, to control the prosthetic with his thoughts.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Bio-Medical Campus University)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Electrodes implanted into an amputee allowed him to control a robot arm with his thoughts, scientists said today. Over the course of a month, 26-year-old Pierpaolo Petruzziello learned to manipulate the hand through a series of electronic implants connected to his nervous system, reports AP.

"It's a matter of mind, of concentration," Petruzziello said. "When you think of it as your hand and forearm, it all becomes easier." Fellow scientists called the work an important advancement in the development of a neurological interface for prosthetics, but said the work now was to devise a set of electrodes that could safely work in a patient for a lifetime—not just a month.