The future of bionic arm tech is mind-controlled, cheap to produce
The first decade of the 21st century saw some major advances in bionic arm technologies. The first half of that decade saw a team of researchers working together at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Center for Bionic Medicine crafted a bionic arm for Jesse Sullivan, a high-power electrical lineman who lost both of his arms in May 2001 as the result of electrocution. The bionic arm is myoelectric, meaning that it is capable of detecting electrical signals generated by the muscles of the human body. To increase the control signals that can be detected from the body, doctors at RIC’s Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs performed a series of nerve-muscle grafts to move nerves which used to travel to the arms into the chest muscles. By increasing the number of control signals that can be read from the patient’s nerves, doctors were able to outfit Sullivan with a working bionic arm that could be controlled naturally from his nerve impulses.