Groundbreaking Development: 3D Printed Mind-Controlled Prosthetics by NKU

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Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has successfully developed a mind-controlled prosthetic arm using cutting-edge 3D printing and brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Spearheaded by Assistant Professor Mahdi Yazdanpour and his interdisciplinary team, this project aims to revolutionize the lives of arm amputees.

The NKU team’s prosthetic arm stands out for its noninvasive approach, eliminating the need for surgical procedures or sensor implants commonly required by other robotic arms. Instead of electromyography (EMG) systems, they utilize electroencephalography (EEG) systems, allowing users to control the bionic arm simply by thinking about specific movements.

The user wears an EEG cap connected to a computer, capturing and coding brain signals. Once the system learns these signals, the user can effortlessly command the prosthetic arm’s movements in real-time.

The NKU team envisions a future where mind-controlled prosthetics integrate seamlessly into everyday life. They aim to incorporate sensors into everyday items like hats, which capture EEG signals wirelessly via WiFi, thus eliminating the necessity for a physical connection. Such an advancement could potentially revolutionize the way users interact with their prosthetic limbs.

NKU Develops 3D Printed Mind-Controlled Prosthetics

The team looks forward to expanding the functionality of their design. The future phases involve integrating pressure and heat sensors into the fingertips that would provide users with tactile feedback. This development can potentially create a more immersive and responsive prosthetic experience.

As the NKU team seeks additional funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), they remain devoted to refining and advancing their mind-controlled prosthetic hand. They project’s progress shows great potential for BCI technology to transform the prosthetics landscape, providing a glimpse into a future where people with limb differences can experience improved mobility and control.


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