A once very active man Ian Burkhart lost his mobility some five years ago after diving into a beach each wave off the banks in North Carolina, USA. There was a slight accident and what it resulted in was Ian breaking his neck on the sandy floor of the beach, losing any feeling in his hands and legs.
There have been series of medical tests and attention that has been given to Mr. Ian, including rehab and surgery, but until Wednesday, no real breakthrough was recorded. The doctors said that Mr. Ian is now able to control his right hands and fingers using a technology that transmits all his thought directly to his hand muscles. The spinal injury which is the cause of the paralysis hasn’t been cured, but this chip bypasses the injury and gets information straight to the hand muscles.
The implant was made two years ago, and recently, when he was taken to a lab and the implant connected through a computer to a sleeve on his arm, he was able to learn to focus his thoughts to make his hands do things. He was able to pick a straw and stir, pour drink from a bottle and even play a guitar video game.
The field of neural engineering is advancing pretty quickly, and this is just one of many things that scientists have been able to do. Brain implants have made it possible for scientists to decipher brain signals and match them to specific movements. People have been able to guide a cursor with their thoughts, monkeys have even used a robotic arm through neural signals and they have even been thought to use their arm to bypass security.