After a devastating motorcycle accident that severed his spinal cord, 28-year-old Adam Fritz is now taking his first steps with the help of brain-to-computer technology and electrodes triggered by leg-moving brain waves.
Adam Fritz is the first documented patient to ever walk without the use of robotics and his story is a great example of how patience, willpower, and technology can go hand-in-hand in creating a positive change for humankind.
Although the progress is slow, many will agree that this outcome marks a promising achievement for brain-computer interfaces and may one day assist countless spinal injury and stroke victims to regain some mobility in their lives. The study proves it possible for victims to restore their ability to produce movement through mental practice, as well as with the help of movement simulation programs that strengthen the brain waves associated with body movement.
He managed to go over a distance of 3.6 meters in the video of one of the experiments with the help of overhead suspension, but scientists are confident that the technology can be refined through miniaturizing an EEG component and placing it inside the patient’s brain or skull. This allows for a clearer reception of neural messages that may deliver stronger signals and produce elaborate movement in the body.
It’s not likely that we’ll be seeing clinical application any time soon, but the end result of being able to restore body movement as a result of this research will no doubt be a groundbreaking moment for technology and will change the lives of many paraplegics worldwide.