A prosthetic arm that is attached to the bone and controlled by electrodes implanted in nerves and muscles can operate more precisely than conventional prosthetic limbs. Researchers improved the neuroprosthetic hand by integrating tactile sensory feedback, so the patient can "feel" items.
Researchers combined intact neurons from a rat's spinal cord with a tissue-engineered 3D muscle system, creating a biohybrid robot, or biobot. After culturing the system for seven days, the motor neurons from the spinal cord produced electrical activity, causing contractions in the artificial muscles and mimicking the behavior of the peripheral nervous system. The findings could have positive implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders that affect motor control.
Using robotics, researchers uncover mechanisms in the cerebellum and spinal cord that determine how the nervous system responds to induced changes in step length. The findings could have implications for physical rehabilitation programs for people with movement disorders.
Doctors have successfully used robotic technology to treat brain aneurysms. The robotic system could eventually allow remote surgery, enabling surgeons to treat brain disorders that require surgery from afar.
The way neurons are structured, and the patterns they make can be used to explain how they behave and function. The findings have implications for creating intelligent robots.
Much of a sea star's locomotion is determined by local sensory-motor response at the tube feet level as opposed to global sensory-motor commands. It appears the nervous system relies on the physics of the interaction between the body and the environment to control movement. The findings will help with the development of new robotic systems that utilize a decentralized component to learn hierarchically.