Tag: Erik G. Sorto
Paralyzed from the neck down after suffering a gunshot wound when he was 21, Erik G. Sorto now can move a robotic arm just by thinking about it
A new thought-controlled robotic arm taps into a different part of the brain than most, which its creators say may give its paralyzed users an easier learning curve and allow for more fluid movements. They report on the success of their first patient, Erik G. Sorto, in a paper published Thursday in Science.
When Sorto, paralyzed from the neck down for a decade by a gunshot wound, signed on to have neuroprosthetics implanted in his brain, he was very clear on what his first goal would be: After years of having to ask someone to hold straws to his lips, he wanted to be able to drink a beer on his own. His medical team now reports that he’s accomplished that and more.
Neural prosthetic devices implanted in the brain’s movement center, the motor cortex, can allow patients with amputations or paralysis to control the movement of a robotic limb—one that can be either connected to or separate from the patient’s own limb.
Erik Sorto, a 34-year old American, has been unable to move his arms or legs for more than a decade, since a gunshot wound left him paralysed from the neck down. Even now, he misses the little things.
“I want to be able to drink my own beer – to be able to take a drink at my own pace, when I want to take a sip out of my beer and to not have to ask somebody to give it to me,” he said. “I really miss that independence.”
Sorto was recently able to fulfil this goal, when he became the first person in the world to have a neuro-prosthetic device implanted in a region of the brain where intentions are made.