We talk a lot about how technology can help improve our ability to tackle simple tasks in our day-to-day lives.
But when Cathy Hutchinson used technology to simply send an email in 2012, it made waves through the entire neuroscience research community. This was an incredible achievement considering Hutchinson suffers from locked-in syndrome and is fully paralyzed.
Hutchinson was able to send the email, as well as drink from a thermos and navigate with a wheelchair, entirely with her mind. She did this using “BrainGate” which is a brain-machine interface that reads the brain’s instructions on movement, and translates the commands to a prosthetic arm. To complete these tasks, Hutchinson had a silicon chip surgically embedded into the part of her motor cortex that controls her arm and hand movements.
But BrainGate’s mission doesn’t end there, there is hope that the system will become wireless and allow the patient to be completely mobile in their homes.
The Rocket Yard will certainly be following this subject, and it will be exciting to see what kinds of new ground this wireless technology can break!