Mind-controlled exoskeleton allows paralysed patient to move again - architecture and design

Mind-controlled exoskeleton allows paralysed patient to move again



Researchers at the Clinatec laboratory in Grenoble have created an exoskeleton, which paralysed users can control with their mind in order to help them move both their arms and legs.
This marks the first time that a prosthetic exoskeleton was successfully used to help a quadriplegic patient move all four of their immobilised limbs.

The venture is part of the Brain Computer Interface Project between the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Grenoble University Hospital.
The major innovation behind it is not the exoskeleton itself, but an implant called the Wimagine, designed by microelectronics experts at the CEA research institute, which can record and wirelessly transmit the patient's brain activity.
Two of these are surgically placed on the surface of the brain ? one to the right of the sensorimotor area, and one to the left.
Each comes with 64 electrodes, which are used to record the electrical activity in the brain that is tied to the wearer's intent to move. The Wimagine, running on a remote power supply, can digitise this information and transfer it to a computer for decoding.
Here, a sophisticated machine-learning algorithm deduces the intended movements behind this raw data ? arm or leg, left or right, up or down.
The algorithm is continually adapted to improve the accuracy of these decisions, based on the steady stream of new input received from the Wimagine.

An especially developed software is then able to use these instructions to ...
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