Miraculous advancements in the field of medicine have lifted robotic prosthetics out of the realm of science fiction and given them real-word, useful applications.
Take, for example, Erik G. Soto.
Back in 2003, a gunshot wound left Soto paralyzed from the neck down, and he underwent an experimental surgery that placed a series of electrodes arrays in his brain two years ago.
While quadriplegic patients have used electrodes in the brain to control prosthetics in the past, Soto’s doctors placed sensors in the part of the brain that, “controls the intent to move rather than the details of executing movements. The scientists hoped that this approach would allow the patient to produce more natural, fluid motions,” and the improved dexterity allows Soto to shake hands, play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and even drink a beer on his own.
Modelo Especial. Nice choice.
An ecstatic Soto told Brain Decoder just how big of an impact this device could improve his life and the lives of others like him:
The project has made a huge difference in my life. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the solution for improving paralyzed patients’ lives. I joke around with the guys that I want to be able to drink my own beer — to be able to take a drink at my own pace, when I want to take a sip out of my beer and to not have to ask somebody to give it to me. I really miss that independence. I think that if it was safe enough, I would really enjoy grooming myself — shaving, brushing my own teeth. That would be fantastic.
[h/t: Brain Decoder]