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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:56 am Reply with quote  
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  VitaminTech
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Ghostface wrote:
Quote:

First DARPA prosthetic limb comes with virtual reality training
Thu, 2007-04-26 15:26 — BJS


An international team led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., has developed a prototype of the first fully integrated prosthetic arm that can be controlled naturally, provide sensory feedback and allows for eight degrees of freedom—a level of control far beyond the current state of the art for prosthetic limbs. Proto 1, developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, is a complete limb system that also includes a virtual environment used for patient training, clinical configuration, and to record limb movements and control signals during clinical investigations.

the DARPA prosthetics program is an ambitious effort to provide the most advanced medical and rehabilitative technologies for military personnel injured in the line of duty. Over the last year, the APL-led Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 (RP 2009) team has worked to develop a prosthetic arm that will restore significant function and sensory perception of the natural limb. Proto 1 and its virtual environment system were delivered to DARPA ahead of schedule, and Proto 1 was fitted for clinical evaluations conducted by team partners at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) in January and February.

“This progress represents the first major step in a very challenging program that spans four years and involves more than 30 partners, including government agencies, universities, and private firms from the United States, Europe, and Canada,” says APL’s Stuart Harshbarger, who leads the program. “the development of this first prototype within the first year of this program is a remarkable accomplishment by a highly talented and motivated team and serves as validation that we will be able to implement DARPA’s vision to provide, by 2009, a mechanical arm that closely mimics the properties and sensory perception of a biological limb.”

Making Use of Residual Nerves
the advanced degree of natural control and integrated sensory feedback demonstrated with Proto 1 are enabled by Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), a technique pioneered by Dr. Todd Kuiken at RIC that involves the transfer of residual nerves from an amputated limb to unused muscle regions in appropriate proximity to the injury. In this case, the nerves were transferred to the pectoral area of the patient’s chest. This procedure provides for a more intuitive use of a prosthetic arm and allows for the natural sensation of grip strength and touch.

During clinical evaluation of the limb at RIC, Jesse Sullivan, a patient of Dr. Kuiken, demon-strated substantial improvements in functional testing, such as the ability to reposition his thumb for different grips, remove a credit card from a pocket, stack cups while controlling his grip force using sensory feedback verses vision, and to walk using the free swing mode of the limb for a more natural gait. Harshbarger says that critical to Proto 1’s development was closely working with patients such as Sullivan to help the team understand the attributes patients look for in new prosthetic limbs. the limb system also includes a natural-looking artificial covering that was created using photographs of the patient’s native limb taken before the accident.

“the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago continues to advance this applied research and bring the application of the Targeted Reinnervation technique to the forefront to benefit our nation's service men and women,” says Dr. Kuiken, the director of the Neural Engineering Center for Bionic Medicine at RIC. “the results we are achieving in this highly collaborative project are very exciting and I am confident that these discoveries will bring more natural control of prostheses, better artificial limbs and make a difference in the lives of amputees worldwide.”

More Advanced Prototype Within Reach
APL, which was responsible for much of the design and fabrication of Proto 1, and other team members are already hard at work on a second prototype, expected to be unveiled in late summer. It will have more than 25 degrees of freedom and the strength and speed of movement approaching the capabilities of the human limb, combined with more than 80 individual sensory elements for feedback of touch, temperature, and limb position.

“There is still significant work to be done to determine how best to control this number of degrees of freedom, and ultimately how to incorporate sensory feedback based on these sensory inputs within the human nervous system,” Harshbarger says. “the APL team is already driving a virtual model of Proto 2 with data recorded during the clinical evaluation of Proto 1, and the team is working to identify a robust set of grasps that can be controlled by a second patient later this year.”

Another exciting development is the functional demonstration of Injectable MyoElectric Sensor (IMES) devices—very small injectable or surgically implantable devices used to measure muscle activity at the source verses surface electrodes on the skin that were used during testing of the first prototype.

“the IMES devices, coupled with TMR procedures, promise to increase the fidelity of control and can be used in certain injury scenarios to provide a significant improvement on their own merit,” Harshbarger notes. Further neural integration work includes fabrication of early devices to integrate directly with the peripheral nervous system and the cortex.

“APL and DARPA are united in the mission to improve technology and quality of life for our injured warfighters,” Harshbarger continues. “There are a lot of people working very hard to accomplish DARPA’s vision of a final limb system that approaches the natural appearance and control of the native limb. It remains a significant challenge, but the progress to date should give hope that the performance of the final RP 2009 limb will significantly improve the capabilities of upper extremity prosthetic limbs.”

As the team prepares for further evaluations this summer, Proto 1 is already generating considerable interest from government agencies wanting to transition the prototype for use with other patients


source: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/first-darpa-prosthetic-limb-comes-virtual-reality-training-13102.html


Finally..



 PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:01 pm Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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WOOO!

How long before they're on the market?


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:19 am Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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They'll probably get more coverage in 2009 and start going mainstream


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:28 am Reply with quote  
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  Vesper
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OK, I think it's high time to drop reading sci-fi novels and focus on the news, people Wink

Great find, VitaminTech
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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 7:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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Something I do anyways?
Along with scientific textbooks relating to the subject of either cybernetics or cybernetic theory.


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 PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:10 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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wich textbooks did you find most interesting?(for those that read them)

This deserves another thread(wich I'll make sometime) but what circumstances(besides the obvious loosing your arm) would make any of you want to get a cyber-limb. Consider the fact that for these types of limbs youd have to cut off the natural limb.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 2:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cadet SF
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Haha, Hooah DARPA. This is pretty jazzy though and stuff like this makes me a lot less worried about losing a limb in the line of duty.
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 PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 3:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ak!mbo
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Don't worry, we've got spares?
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 PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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Ghostface wrote:
wich textbooks did you find most interesting?(for those that read them)

This deserves another thread(wich I'll make sometime) but what circumstances(besides the obvious loosing your arm) would make any of you want to get a cyber-limb. Consider the fact that for these types of limbs youd have to cut off the natural limb.


I was reading some fairly old ones recently for an RP thing I was doing involving a cyborg made in 1997. I'll have to dig them up for the titles.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cadet SF
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Quote:
Don't worry, we've got spares?


Yep spares, and just think about what that does psychologically to a soldier. If you know that the med tech is so advanced that short of your hear or brain being hit, you'll live, wouldn't you be all the more daring and confident in combat? Seriously, if you mean don't fear death because they know it can't touch them (including serious paralysis and limb loss) then you have a fearsome force.
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 PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 9:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  Gash jackel
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Cadet SF wrote:
Quote:
Don't worry, we've got spares?


Yep spares, and just think about what that does psychologically to a soldier. If you know that the med tech is so advanced that short of your hear or brain being hit, you'll live, wouldn't you be all the more daring and confident in combat? Seriously, if you mean don't fear death because they know it can't touch them (including serious paralysis and limb loss) then you have a fearsome force.


Well SHIELD in the Marvel universe said it best: "Men play games better than they fight". So they made jets equipped with VR suite controlled puppets and such. Fun eh?


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 PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:36 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Here's a good post from Mr Roboto in the techy news thread

Mr. Roboto wrote:
If this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't scream "cyberpunk," we might as well shut this site down since we don't know what cyberpunk is:

Mark Johnson wrote:
Robo-quandary: Marquette professor looks at growing debate of using technology to enhance humans -- We can't decide whether to embrace or strangle our inner cyborg.

the "Bionic Man/Bionic Woman" in us gives thanks for microchips that help our damaged bodies, pills that keep our brains happy and focused, Palm Pilots that put information in our hands and eye implants that improve our vision.

But will we welcome a future that includes: designer children, their brains 20% smarter and wiped clean of the most violent impulses; older adults living 20 years longer than today; wireless links connecting our brains to e-mail transmitters; perhaps even human eyes endowed with night vision?


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 PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Ghostface
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Here's a good post from Mr Roboto in the techy news thread

Mr. Roboto wrote:
If this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn't scream "cyberpunk," we might as well shut this site down since we don't know what cyberpunk is:

Mark Johnson wrote:
Robo-quandary: Marquette professor looks at growing debate of using technology to enhance humans -- We can't decide whether to embrace or strangle our inner cyborg.

the "Bionic Man/Bionic Woman" in us gives thanks for microchips that help our damaged bodies, pills that keep our brains happy and focused, Palm Pilots that put information in our hands and eye implants that improve our vision.

But will we welcome a future that includes: designer children, their brains 20% smarter and wiped clean of the most violent impulses; older adults living 20 years longer than today; wireless links connecting our brains to e-mail transmitters; perhaps even human eyes endowed with night vision?


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 PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am Reply with quote  
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  Cadet SF
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Aside from double posting, this is pretty good, if not short.
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 PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:40 am Reply with quote  
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  Navigator
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Joined: 01 May 2007
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I found this rather interesting.

Quote:
Machine Means End To Sleepless Nights

Updated: 09:50, Sunday May 06, 2007
A new discovery could make it possible to take a "power nap" at the flick of a switch.
Scientists have found a way to turn on deep sleep at will using a machine that magnetically stimulates the brain.

A device worn on the head could in squeeze the benefit of eight hours' sleep into just two or three hours.

Scientists in the US used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce slow waves - indicative of the deepest phase of sleep and essential for learning ability and mood, in a group of sleeping volunteers.

A TMS device sends harmless magnetic signals through the scalp and skull and into the brain, where it activates electrical impulses.

the researchers found that positioning the TMS machine the right way triggered slow waves that travelled throughout the brain.

Slow wave activity occupies 80% of sleeping hours.

During slow wave sleep, waves of electrical impulses wash across the brain at a rate of roughly one a second.

With each magnetic pulse, the volunteers' brains immediately generated slow waves typical of deep sleep.

"Creating slow waves on demand could some day lead to treatments for insomnia," said study leader Prof Giulio Tononi, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Theoretically, it could also lead to a magnetically stimulated `power nap' which might confer the benefit of eight hours' sleep in just a few hours."

Prof Tononi believes sleep is essential to prevent the brain overloading.

Memory involves strengthening synapses - connections between brain cells formed by learning.

Sleep might allow the connections created during the day to relax at night, according to Prof Tononi.

the research appeared in an early edition of the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1264358,00.html


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