Futuristic Bio-Robotic Arm Can be Controlled by Brain Waves

The device could revolutionize how people with disabilities interact with the world.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The robotic armDavid Gathu for IE

It's the stuff of science fiction, but for two Kenyan inventors, it is very much real. David Gathu and Moses Kiuna have invented a robotic arm that can be controlled by the brain waves. The invention could revolutionize the way people with disabilities interact with the world.

IE spoke to Gathu and Kiuna and asked them about their inspiration for creating such a project. 

"Since my childhood, I have been a curious and passionate innovator. The idea of a robotic arm stuck in my mind when I was in primary school and witnessed one of my friends' mum who was amputated in the hand below the elbow. My classmates didn't want to be associated with her and that's when I thought of building a machine interfaced with humans at a cellular level," said Kiuna.

Kiuna added that he was also inspired by people who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, birth defects, and strokes and wanted to make a difference for them.

Gathu, on the other hand, said his inspiration for the arm came from a movie. "I was inspired by a TV movie series that was called robot cop that was done by a guy called Alex Murphy. I kept thinking about this movie and about how a robotic machine unit could interface with a human at a cellular level," said Gathu.

The inventor also added that the bionic arm is made to make those with disabilities more independent. 

"The aim of this brain-to-machine interface is to provide direct communication between the brain and machine without the use of muscles or peripheral nerves," added Gathu. "I believe that in 10 years we can become the leading African noninvasive bio robotics/bionics producers." 

Gathu also said that he believes he has the capacity to transform his community through his project. And we believe his invention could transform the world. Good luck Gathu and Kiuna!

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