Risk
5/17/2012
12:23 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Robotic Arm Holds Promise For Paralyzed Soldiers

The Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs are involved in new research that demonstrates how an advanced prosthetic arm can be controlled by the human brain.

Defense Tech: 20 War-Fighting Innovations
Military Transformers: 20 Innovative Defense Technologies
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Researchers have demonstrated that tetraplegics, people unable to use their limbs, can control a robotic arm via neuro signals conveyed by a microelectrode array implanted in the brain. The scientific advance holds promise for people who are paralyzed or otherwise seriously injured, including wounded soldiers.

The results of this latest research into robotic arm control were reported in the scientific journal Nature. Two study participants were able to control a prosthetic limb to reach and grasp. One used the arm to take a sip of coffee from a bottle with a straw.

The report's authors are affiliated with a half dozen medical research centers, including the Department of Veterans Affairs' Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. The research was partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The VA and the Department of Defense are investing in the research and development of brain-controlled prosthetics because war-related amputations have reached the highest level in 10 years. Last year, 240 deployed troops lost an arm or leg, or multiple limbs, according Stars & Stripes, citing Pentagon data. Many of the injuries were the result of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

DARPA established its Revolutionizing Prosthetics program in 2006 with a goal of creating advanced mechanical arms and control systems and exploring the viability of using the brain to control the arms. Last October, DARPA reported that a volunteer who had been left paralyzed by a motorcycle accident had successfully done that.

According to DARPA, some of the capabilities developed under the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program have been applied to small robotic systems used for manipulating IEDs.

The DARPA program also led to the development of a robotic arm by DEKA, one of the contractors in the program. The internal control framework of the DEKA arm was used in the study described in the article in Nature. Last month, DEKA sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration to make its prosthetic arm commercially available.

Hacktivist and cybercriminal threats concern IT teams most, our first Federal Government Cybersecurity Survey reveals. Here's how they're fighting back. Also in the new, all-digital Top Federal IT Threats issue of InformqtionWeek Government: Why federal efforts to cut IT costs don't go far enough, and how the State Department is enhancing security. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7437
Published: 2015-03-29
Multiple integer overflows in potrace 1.11 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via large dimensions in a BMP image, which triggers a buffer overflow.

CVE-2013-7438
Published: 2015-03-29
Multiple buffer overflows in pbm212030 allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possible execute arbitrary code via a crafted PBM image, related to (1) stream line data, which triggers a heap-based buffer overflow, or (2) vectors related to an "internal intermediate heap-based ...

CVE-2014-5427
Published: 2015-03-29
Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integration Engine (NIE) 5xxx-x, and NxE8500, allows remote attackers to read pa...

CVE-2014-5428
Published: 2015-03-29
Unrestricted file upload vulnerability in unspecified web services in Johnson Controls Metasys 4.1 through 6.5, as used in Application and Data Server (ADS), Extended Application and Data Server (aka ADX), LonWorks Control Server 85 LCS8520, Network Automation Engine (NAE) 55xx-x, Network Integratio...

CVE-2014-9205
Published: 2015-03-29
Stack-based buffer overflow in the PmBase64Decode function in an unspecified demonstration application in MICROSYS PROMOTIC stable before 8.2.19 and PROMOTIC development before 8.3.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by providing a large amount of data.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.