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Man Receives Two Prosthetic Arms That He Can Control With His Mind

Colorado man Les Baugh lost both his arms at the shoulder 40 years ago in an electrical accident. He just made history by becoming the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to be fitted with and be able to simultaneously control two Modular Prosthetic Limbs from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). What is remarkable is that these limbs are completely controlled by Baugh’s mind—his thoughts control the movements of the limbs.

The procedure involved reassigning the nerves of the shoulder and upper torso so that Baugh could move his prosthetic arms with thought alone, just as a normal person does.

Baugh had to go through simulated trainings to be able to control his new limbs with his mind, and his movements are slow and deliberate, like something out of a terminator movie.

Screenshot 2014-12-21 15.03.19
Les training how to manipulate his new prosthetic arms through computer simulation. (Screenshot/YouTube)


Obviously, this is only the beginning stage of such a new technology, and as researcher Michael McLoughlin stated: “I think we’re just getting started… I think the next 5 to 10 years are going to bring phenomenal advancement.”

As for Baugh, being able to have arms again has allowed him to ‘go into a whole different world.’

Things we all take for granted will now be possible again. “Maybe for once I’ll be able to put change in a pop machine and get the pop out of it,” Baugh says. “Simple things like that that most people never think of.”

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Les picking up a ball and dropping it into a container. (Screenshot/YouTube)


For more information, see the Johns Hopkins press release. It looks like The Six Million Dollar Man is a step closer.

John Andress
Having had many eclectic experiences and expressing interest in so many varied things in life has suited my role as Editor-in-Chief of Vision Times. Being trained in the sciences, I worked in the medical field. Scuba diving was a passion, being part owner of a scuba shop, and I enjoyed diving around the world. Raising reptiles of all sorts, including poisonous snakes, was also one of my hobbies when living in the U.S. After moving to Australia in the 80s, I became an avid organic grower of tropical fruits and vegetables, which my wife and I partake of year-round, as well as many of our friends. My newest endeavor has been to become a “bikie” — an eBikie, which I do every day not only to get exercise, but also to have a break from slaving over my computer most of the day. Obviously, China is also a passion, which is something VT specializes in, so I feel very fortunate to have a role here at Vision Times.

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