February 9, 2011
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Reporting from Washington — Responding to the needs of badly wounded war veterans, federal officials said Tuesday they were accelerating reviews of a science-fiction-like robotic arm controlled by a computer chip on the brain.
The device would make the use of prosthetic arms, hands and fingers seem almost natural by using a microchip implanted on the brain to record and decode signals to neurons that control the prosthesis.
In a dramatic video accompanying the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration, the prosthetic arm wielded pliers and picked up a clothespin to demonstrate its dexterity.
The system, developed over the last five years at a cost of more than $100 million by the Pentagon’s advanced technology research program, will become the first to be reviewed under a new FDA program designed to make promising medical devices available sooner.