A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) this summer when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Most importantly, Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs, performing a variety of tasks during a short training period.
Thanks to a neural surgery and robotic technology, a man in Colorado named Les Baugh is the first person to gain the ability to control two shoulder-level robotic arms with his mind. The limbs and the technology that powers them were developed by Johns Hopkins University.
"We use pattern recognition algorithms to identify individual muscles that are contracting, how well they communicate with each other, and their amplitude and frequency," said Albert Chi, a Johns Hopkins trauma surgeon, in a statement. "We take that information and translate that into actual movements within a prosthetic."
BAUGH LOST HIS ARMS 40 YEARS AGO IN AN ELECTRICAL ACCIDENT
Baugh lost his arms 40 years ago in an electrical accident, so the prosthetic limbs represent a big change. Now that the researchers know that the system works, the next step is to send him home to see how he integrates them into his everyday life.