You wouldn’t think it would be emotional, but as this CBS report illustrates, that depends on if it’s the first time you’ve held hands with your paralyzed boyfriend:
“It wasn’t my arm but it was my brain, my thoughts. I was moving something,” said Tim Hemmes, 30, who became a quadriplegic seven years ago after a motorcycle accident. “I don’t have one single word to give you what I felt at that moment. That word doesn’t exist.”
Hemmes – whose emotional moment came during a month-long experiment at the University of Pittsburgh – is among the pioneers in an ambitious quest for thought-controlled prosthetics. The ultimate goal is to give paralyzed people greater independence – the ability to feed themselves, turn a doorknob, hug a loved one.
The robotic arm is considered the most humanlike bionic arm to date – even the fingers bend like real ones. It’s controlled by electrical signals from tiny brain electrodes implanted into the brain.