I Can't Feel My Leg! Help!!!

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It was told that “So many able-bodied people are paralyzed in their own lives.”  We are lucky to have a healthy body.  Some people are born without limbs.  Some people lost their arms or legs because of accident.  Victims may feel frustrated for losing the sense of touch.  Thanks to the technology, paralyzed people now get their chance to restore their sensory perception.

We can already control the robotic arm through our mind in the last few years.  So far we can only rely on the vision to check whether the robotic arm uses the right strength to grab things and works properly.  Simple things in our daily lives like holding a cup without crushing it has become a huge challenge for robotic prosthesis.

The research teams utilize MEG (magnetoencephalography) to monitor the brain activity.  They send tiny pulse of electricity to patient’s brain that could stimulate the areas which are corresponding to each finger.  Then they keep adjusting the presence of the electrodes until it finally succeed.


The new technology can make paralyzed people to reach out and feel the world again.  The mind-controlled robotic arm has pressure sensors in each fingertip which can send signals directly to the brain.  When the patient grabs something with robotic prosthesis, he can tell whether the thing is hard or soft, and even which finger the sensation coming from. 

The ultimate target of the research team is to let the user feel everything as natural.  Although patients cannot tell the difference between silk and burlap by robotic hands now, it is already a huge breakthrough.

Reference: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/13/497716281/brain-implant-restores-sense-of-touch-to-paralyzed-man

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