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BBC News - Scientists hail robotic hand 'breakthrough'

For one month, Italian scientists demonstrated that a person could control a robotic hand using only neural signals from the nerves in his arm, and was able to perform complex tasks. He was also able to detect sensations in his hand because the link was designed to be two-way. Visit the link to see a video of him controlling the hand.

Also: Crave | Man controls cybernetic hand with thoughts

Edit: Finally found an embeddable link to the video.
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IEEE Spectrum: Exoskeletons Are on the March

The Japanese company Cyberdyne (yes, the name is the same as the company that developed the AI chip in the Terminator movies) has demonstrated that their HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb, but another nod to a science fiction movie) was able to use the faint bioelectric signals being sent to the withered leg of a 46 year-old polio victim to drive a robotic limb strapped to the leg. In fact, with repeated use the bioelectric signal strengthened as the patient continued to use the leg, demonstrating that the brain could adapt to make is progressively easier to signal the device. They are currently collecting data on signal strength over time to examine how the brain adapts to regular use of the device.

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TheSpec.com - BreakingNews - Canadian astronaut to test remote-control rover at space agency

Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk wil spend several weeks remotely operating a rover-type robot from space using an amateur ham radio when he arrives on the International Space Station some time after his May 27th launch from Kazakhstan. The rover will be in a backlot of the Canadian Space Agency in Montréal. The study will explore the challenges of remotely controlling a robot for purposes of terrain-mapping under the constraint of having only a 10-minute window every day or every several days with which to communicate his instructions to the robot. The experiment will test several Canadian-made technologies for terrain exploration and will be applied to designs for rovers that may be sentto other planets and controlled either from Earth or from space.

January 2010

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