Les Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) by being able to operate two of the laboratory’s ‘Modular Prosthetic Limbs’ that fitted to his body simply by thinking about moving them.
The procedure was part of an APL-funded research effort to assess the usability of the MPL as part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program. Baugh went through a new surgical procedure to reassign the nerves that once controlled his arms and hands to sensors that control the prosthetics.
John Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi, M.D. said, “By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform.”
“Maybe for once I’ll be able to put change in a pop machine and get the pop out”, Baugh is heard saying in the video below. “Simple things like that, that most people never think of … and it’s re-available to me.”