DARPA’s robotic mind controlled prosthetic arm has FDA approval now.
The prosthetic device comes from a company founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, and it is roughly the size and weight of an adult arm.
The arm is controlled by electromyogram electrodes placed on the remaining portion of the human arm. Those sensors pick up electric signals from muscle movements in the upper arm, and a computer in the robotic arm can tell what type of maneuver the user wants to make. The results are impressive: with the arm, amputees in clinical trials were able to perform tasks once thought impossible for a prosthetic limb. They could use zippers and keys, and — thanks to vibration feedback at the base of the prosthetic — they could pick up objects like grapes and eggs without crushing them.