The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has demonstrated a robotic prosthetic arm that features technologies whichÂ work to support brain controlÂ andÂ strapless integration functions.
The ArmyÂ said Wednesday Johnny Matheny — the research program’s test patient who lost his left arm to cancer –Â underwent procedures so he could use the remainingÂ muscles and nerves of his left arm to control the prosthetics.
Matheny also went through an osseointegration process, where aÂ metal device wasÂ surgically implanted intoÂ his bone to remove the need for aÂ fiberglass cup and straps that are commonlyÂ usedÂ with most prosthetic arms, DARPA added.
Matheny the DARPA Demo Day the battery-operated robotic arm helps him carry up to 45 pounds.
Justin Sanchez, DARPA director of the biological technologies office, said Matheny’s robotic arm is part of theÂ Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program which aims to provideÂ near-natural upper extremity control for amputees in the military service.
Sanchez added DARPA wants to go beyond Matheny’sÂ myoelectric control over the robotic arm and move forward to direct brain control through neural implants.
The planned system will work to facilitate a two-way signal transmission between the brain implants and prosthetic sensors so usersÂ can also experience sensation, Sanchez said.