Tim Hemmes Moves Robotic Arm With His Mind

10/26/2011 01:45 pm 13:45:10 | Updated Dec 26, 2011

Mind-powered robotics have become a thing of the present -- the technology has allowed Tim Hemmes, who became paralyzed years ago, to move a robot-powered arm with his mind.

Hemmes became a quadriplegic seven years ago after being involved in a motorcycle crash, according to the Associated Press. Since then, he has had to watch other people being able to move and touch without having the capability of his own.

"I saw my mom reach down and pick my daughter up, [and I] realized I can't do that," Hemmes told The Early Show. "That was very hard for me."

But Hemmes is now part of an experimental project, named Revolutionizing Prosthetics. He had electrodes inserted into his brain that allow him to control a robot arm with his mind, The Early Show reported. Other robot limbs require muscle contractions in order to move.

"It wasn't my arm but it was my brain, my thoughts. I was moving something," Hemmes told the Associated Press. "I don't have one single word to give you what I felt at that moment. That word doesn't exist."

Recently, scientists from the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering, have come closer to restoring the sense of touch, by implanting electrodes into monkeys' brains. The monkeys were able to use their brain waves to move a virtual hand and feel the texture of virtual objects.

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