Connected Mind + Body: Improving Neural Control of Prostheses


mit Media Lab

Jimmy Day, MIT Media Lab

The Media Lab is enhancing human physical capability and revolutionizing mental wellbeing using digital technologies and human-computer interaction. 

This research pioneers transformative approaches to intuitively control prosthetic devices, harnessing the power of residual limb signals in amputees. This groundbreaking research aims to revolutionize upper extremity prosthetics, offering more natural movement and reducing device abandonment, thereby opening a new realm of possibilities for those with limb differences.


Existing upper extremity prosthesis controllers have limited functionality and place high cognitive demands on users, both of which contribute to the high rates of device abandonment seen in this group.

This project investigates methods of translating the intentions of someone with upper extremity amputation into the resulting movement of their prosthetic device. In recipients of both the AMI procedure and traditional amputations, signals generated by the residual limb musculature can be used as control signals. Using these physiological signals for control allows for the development of subject specific controllers that grant intuitive control of multiple degrees of freedom. Ultimately, sufficiently advanced controllers will grant control of a prosthesis with native biomechanics.

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